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.