Barcelona and Real Madrid will play for the 238th time on Sunday, their first el clasico of the 2018/19 season.
It’ll be their first battle since May earlier this year, when they also met in LaLiga Santander in the Catalan capital and played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. While the desire to win and to get one over their rivals was still a factor in May, Barcelona had already mathematically sealed the league title and the three points on offer weren’t quite as valuable as they normally are. The situation this time around couldn’t be more different.
This LaLiga Santander season, Barcelona have the honour of hosting the first El Clasico and both these teams are entrenched as title contenders. Sevilla and Atlético Madrid will consider themselves title candidates too, so every point is crucial in what is turning out to be one of the most competitive league seasons in recent memory.
El CLASICO, A QUESTION OF PRIDE
Pride is at stake in this match, as it always is. This is one of the most intense rivalries in the world, fiercer than most derbies despite the fact that these two clubs are based in different cities. With players, coaches, fans and the media all involved in a never-ending dispute over which club is better, there’s nothing sweeter than a victory on El Clasico day.
There’s so much more on the line than just bragging rights, though. The three points could be crucial in determining where the LaLiga Santander trophy goes at the end of the season. A defeat would be a gut-wrenching setback for either side, while a draw wouldn’t be that much better given how many points these sides have already dropped and the need to keep pace with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid.
THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON
For the supporters of both clubs, matches against their El Clasico rivals are the biggest games of the season. There’s no doubt about that. The historic rivalry goes back over a century and it is experienced day in, day out, making the actual matches between the two sets of players something extra special. The fact that 2018/19 is shaping up to be one of the tightest title races in years means that even at this early stage of the season it’s one of the most anticipated Barcelona vs Real Madrid fixtures in a long time, which is saying something!
WHY DOES THIS MATCH MATTER INTERNATIONALLY?
No clubs in world football have the global profile that Barcelona and Real Madrid have. A quick glance at their social media followings shows that Barcelona and Real Madrid have a presence in every single nook and cranny of the planet.
They boast supporters clubs from Austria to Australia and from the USA to the UAE, with loyal fans who tune in to watch their side every weekend.
Despite the distance, the passion these supporters have for their clubs is undisputed and they will be just as excited about this fixture as those who are attending the game at the Camp Nou. Bars and social clubs around the globe will be eagerly turning on the television set to see what happens when Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui’s sides meet, with the global audience growing and growing with each passing season.