Barcelona and Real Madrid Rivalry – History and Culture

When we think of the most famous derbies in the world, El Clasico is one of the first that springs to mind. The annual bouts between Spain’s two heavyweight teams attract hundreds of millions of viewers and endless column inches of media attention. The reasons for the derby being such a big occasion are endless and if you want to experience some of the action La Liga has to offer, visit

Barcelona and Real Madrid

Real and Barca are the obvious two big sides in Spanish football, and between them, they have dominated La Liga. Real represent the Castilian region and Barcelona represent the Catalan region. The Castilian region is synonymous with government and power, and the Catalan region sees itself as a competing seat of power.

The rivalry extends deep into history and peaked during the Spanish Civil War. Madrid was strongly tied to Franco’s regime and although the victims of his power spread throughout Spain, Madrid and Barcelona came to represent the ideological divide. Many of Franco’s adversaries were in Barcelona, and the city was one of the main threats to his power.

The Catalan culture is glaringly individual. It only takes a brief walk around Barcelona to realise that there is a strong sense of difference. The abstract Gaudi architecture and the endless works of art show a city that is keen to stamp its authority through individual expression. If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, why not use and add an essential trip to the Nou Camp to your itinerary?

Barcelona and Real Madrid make up much of the national team due to their domestic dominance, although club rivalries will often come before national team bonds. Take last season’s volatile Champions League final as an example. Many think that the only way the current Spanish team will lose superiority is if internal rivalries take hold, borne out of El Clasico tensions.
To see El Clasico is to see one of the world’s major sporting showpieces. Visit to discover ticketing information on a host of La Liga games.

Scroll to Top