Barcelona’s game with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp has been brought forward by a day to April 21, Madrid have confirmed. The El Clasico clash, which will take place between the two legs of the Champions League semi-finals, has been moved from Sunday to Saturday.
Barcelona travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the first leg of their last-four meeting three days earlier on Wednesday April 18, with the return fixture on Tuesday April 24.
Madrid face Bayern in the other semi-final on April 17 and 25.
A statement on Madrid’s website read: “Real Madrid will face Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Saturday, April 21 at 2000 in the 35th round of the season.”
History El Cl?sico
El Cl?sico (Spanish pronunciation: [el ‘klasiko]; Catalan: El Cl?ssic, pronounced: [?? ‘k?asik]; “The Classic”), also known as El derbi espa?ol, is the name given in football to any match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. It is contested twice a year in the Spanish La Liga competition, and more often if the clubs meet in other competitions. Other than the UEFA Champions League Final, it is the most followed club football match in the world, watched by hundreds of millions of people.
The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and the two clubs are two of the richest, most successful and influential football clubs in the world. Barcelona leads the count in official titles won with 75 trophies (plus three Inter-Cities Fairs Cups considered the predecessor to the UEFA Cup and recognized by FIFA), while Real Madrid has won 74 trophies. Along with Athletic Bilbao, they are the only clubs in La Liga to have never been relegated. They are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Real Madrid viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona viewed as representing Catalan nationalism. The rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest in world football.
The challenge between Real Madrid and Barcelona has long been surpassed the sporting dimension, thus elections to these clubs presidency are strongly politicized. As early as the 1930s, Barcelona had developed a reputation as a symbol of Catalan pride and identity, opposed to the centralising tendencies of Madrid.In 1936, when Francisco Franco started thegolpe against the democratic Second Spanish Republic, the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Sunyol, member of the Republican Left of Catalonia and Deputy to The Cortes, was arrested and executed without trial by Franco’s troops (Sunyol was exercising his political activities, visiting Republican troops north of Madrid). FC Barcelona was on top of the list of organizations to be purged by the National faction, just aftercommunists, anarchists, and independentists. During the Franco dictatorship, most citizens of Barcelona were in strong opposition to the fascist-like r?gime. Phil Ball, the author ofMorbo: The Story of Spanish Football, calls El Cl?sico “a re-enactment of the Spanish Civil War.” A similar analogy was made by American author Robert Coover, which described the 1977 match between the “archrivals” FC Barcelona and Real Club Deportivo Espa?ol as “more like a reenactment of the Spanish Civil War than a mere athletic event.”
Though the first socialist party in Spain was founded in Madrid, almost all the ideas that have shaped the country’s modern history -republicanism, federalism, anarchism, syndicalism and communism- have been introduced via the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital. During the dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera and of Francisco Franco, all regional languages and identities were frowned upon and restrained. In this period, FC Barcelona gained their motto m?s que un club (English: More than a club) because of its alleged connection to progressive beliefs and its representative role for Catalonia. During Franco’s regime, however, the blaugrana team seemed to be granted profit due to its good relationship with the dictator at management level.
The links between senior Real Madrid representatives and the Franquist regime were undeniable; for most of the Catalans, Real Madrid was regarded as the establishment club, in spite of the fact that presidents of both clubs like Josep Sunyol and Rafael S?nchez Guerra, suffered in the Spanish Civil War.This image was further affected by the creation, in 1980, of the fascist-leaning Real Madrid hooligan group.For different but not contradictory reasons, for many people living in the rest of Spain, FC Barcelona considered as the alternative pole to Real Madrid’s conservatism. According to a pan-Hispanic poll released by CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociol?gicas), Real Madrid’s followers tend to adopt right-wing views, while Barcelona fans are politically closer associated with the left-wing.