Barcelona, Real Madrid; The politics in the play

By | January 25, 2015

Every time these two soccer heavyweights square up we all love it. This rivalry has been home to the biggest names in soccer and produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of the beautiful game. However, watching the style of play for both teams closely, something stands out.

Just to give you a brief history about the two sides. Catalonia, the home of Barcelona had been independent until they were forcefully put under a political system based in Madrid under king Philip V. The people of Catalonia lost their culture, most importantly they had to use Spanish as an official language resulting to bitterness. There have been several unsuccessful attempts by Catalonia to separate itself from Spain, most recently the 2014 referendum in which the people in Catalonia voted for freedom but the vote was ignored by Madrid.


Real Madrid is famous for its counter-attacking style of play. Laying back and letting the opponent have the ball before breaking out on deadly attacks, most often than not resulting to goals. When Madrid goes out to play, they get out there for serious business and the main target is to score goals and win. For them, that is what is expected in soccer, scoring goals and winning championships and they strictly abide by the rules. The philosophy has been very effective for the Santiago Bernabéu based team winning them multiple championships.


Barcelona`s style of play is the exact opposite. Barcelona has been known for the `tiki-taka’ brand of soccer. A sign of yearning for freedom. The need to go out there and not just play to score goals. The style that allows players the freedom to move around with the ball and make the game more entertaining. Players are given a chance to be creative and find a way to score goals. For them, this is a rebellion against the system, a rebellion against Madrid!

Next time as you enjoy the El-Classico remember to pay attention to the politics playing before your eyes.

5 thoughts on “Barcelona, Real Madrid; The politics in the play

  1. Stewy

    I like Real Madrid style of play as its only focus is the ultimate objective of football which is from its counter attacking style, scoring goals is the top top priority.. Believing in the counter attacking style; regardless of the rebellious style you may think Barcelona has: pushing forward to achieve one’s goal is the most important thing in life and relevantly in football…

  2. Daager

    F.C Barcelona seem not so strong after pep guadiola leaving to bayern. how can they lose 4-0 to bilbao in spanish super cup.

  3. Hector Morales Jr.

    This is a very interesting post and point of view. I recently read an article in a magazine called Jot Down Magazine, which is a Spanish magazine, in which they went even further into the matter. They surveyed Spanish citizens as to which political party and which soccer team they supported. What they found was that there was a trend of having certain political party supporters also support certain soccer teams. It just goes to show how intertwined politics and soccer are in Spain. As the author noted, there is a great dislike between the teams and their supporters, and it is interesting to see this dislike manifest itself in the style of play as well as in politics.

  4. Jesús

    Interesting post!
    In the same line, FIFA nominated Real Madrid as the Best Soccer Club in the 20th century, especially due to the number of trophies they won in that century and the amazing players that played in the Spanish capital’s team.
    FC Barcelona and Cataluña have continuously emphasized that they want to be the best team in the 21st century not because of governmental support-Generalísimo Franco has always been blamed as the responsible of Real Madrid’s success-but rather because of their own value as a team, a way of understanding life, and a culture.

  5. Raya

    I always admired Barcelona’s style of play as beautiful because of its fluidity, but it’s interesting to also see the Barcelona style of play as a form of ‘rebellion’ against Madrid.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *