The fixtures have been released for the 2018/19 La Liga season have been released and we now know the two dates for the clashes between Real Madrid and Barça.
Ernesto Valverde’s team will host the first El Clasico. It’ll be at the Camp Nou on the weekend of the 28th October as part of La Liga’s 10th game week. – Buy El Clasico Tickets
The return match, at the Santiago Bernabeu, will happen on the weekend beginning the 3rd March. Last season’s second El Clasico came much later on in the campaign when the two sides had nothing to play for: Barcelona had already secured the league and Real Madrid were guaranteed a Champions League place. This season will be the earliest the fixtures between the two heavyweights have taken place. Buy El Clasico Tickets
This will also be the first El Clasico in nearly 10 years without ex-Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, as the Portuguese forward left for Juventus earlier this month.
Barcelona won the La Liga title in the 2017/2018 season, while Real Madrid finished third, behind second-placed Atletico Madrid.
El Clásico (“The Classic”) is the name given in football to any match between fierce rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Originally it referred only to those competitions held in the Spanish championship, but nowadays the term has been generalized, and tends to include every single match between the two clubs: UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, etc. Other than the UEFA Champions League Final, it is considered one of the biggest club football games in the world, and is among the most viewed annual sporting events.The match is known for its intensity.
El Clasico is as much about Spanish history as it is football. From the start the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival regions in Spain, Catalonia and Castile, as well as of the two cities themselves. The rivalry projects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between Catalans and the Castilians.
During the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and (especially) of Francisco Franco, all regional identities were openly suppressed (e.g. the peripheral languages were officially banned). So FC Barcelona became more than a club (més que un club) for Catalonia as a defender of freedom and one of its greatest ambassadors. On the contrary, for most of the Catalans and many other Spaniards, Real Madrid was representing the sovereign oppressive centralism.
However, during the Spanish Civil War itself, members of both clubs, like Josep Sunyol and Rafael Sánchez Guerra, suffered at the hands of Franco supporters.
During the 1950s the rivalry was exacerbated significantly when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo Di Stefano, who finally played for Real Madrid, thanks to the help of Franco, who transfered him to Real Madrid by “royal decree” after playing three games with Barcelona’s shirt, who was the key in the subsequent success achieved by the club. In 2002, the European encounter between the clubs was dubbed the “Match of The Century” by Spanish media, and was watched by more than 500 million people
Today FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two biggest and most successful clubs in Spain. A 2007 survey by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas determined that Real Madrid was the team with the largest following in Spain. Thirty-two percent of the Spanish population supported Real Madrid, while twenty-five percent supported Barcelona.
Barcelona however is more popular in Europe than Madrid. According to a survey made by the German research agency Sport+Markt in 2010, Barcelona has approximately 57.8 million fans around Europe, while Real Madrid has 31.3 million fans.
Real Madrid leads the head to head results in competitive matches with 95 wins to Barcelona’s 92, while Barcelona leads in total matches with 112 wins to Real Madrid’s 99. Along with Athletic Bilbao, they are the only clubs in La Liga to have never been relegated.