'El Classico'

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 ·

This coming Sunday sees one of theree of Europe's biggest derbies with the eyes of the world firmly on events in Spain as the 159th 'El Classico' between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be played in front of a packed and hostile Camp Nou.
Expectations will be high for this match as the top two teams in the land, both in terms of status and current league form, battle it out for top spot in La Liga.  Expectations are also raised because of the events of the
summer with Real spending an unprecendented €254 million on eight players to turn them into more serious contenders for the title this season.  Barcelona's dominance last season sparked Florentino Prerez into running for the Presidency again and it is this intense rivallry between the two clubs that makes this game all the more interesting.  Quite apart from the political ramifications that surround this game (a myth of greater importance to headline writers across the globe than tho the general fan in Spain) it is an important game for the nation of Spain because the majority of supporters follow one or the other as first or second team.  This is mainly because, exceptions aside, the title is usually fought out by these two pretty much every season and maintaining an interest in the league means following one of these two teams.
Whilst it is not a 'derby' in the strictest sense of the word, it certainly invokes the passions of fans enough to make this clash worthy of the name of a derby.  With only a point sperating the two sides, this game might just be one of the closest game for a number of seasons.

Graham Matheson

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