WHEN F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid F.C. play against each other there is much more going on than just a football match. It is not only one of the biggest sporting events in the whole wide world – over 600 million fans of 170 different countries were watching the live broadcast on April 2 – but also a trending topic across all social networks. The match was meant to be a homage to the recently deceased Johann Cruyff, undoubtedly one of the best football players of all time and the main foundation of F.C. Barcelona’s football style and tactics. Luis Enrique’s team hadn’t been defeated for 39 matches, and all the presidents of the club in the last twenty years were ready to celebrate, but Real Madrid spoiled the party. With only ten players and an unfairly cancelled goal scored by the Welshman Gareth Bale they managed to defy the odds. Overall score in “Clásicos”: Real Madrid 93 – Barcelona 91.
One of the main characters in the play was Gerard Piqué, who scored the goal for the local team, a goal that Luis Suarez should have scored in minute nine. The former defender of Manchester United, presently in a relationship with pop star Shakira, is very keen on leaving provocative comments on Twitter and Periscope that have enraged journalists and some of Real Madrid’s football players. He even stated recently in an interview “I enjoy inciting the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.” And he certainly manages to incite it. Just after the match Real Madrid player Jese tweeted a defying picture of his team taken in the changing room after their victory. Who took the pic? Real Madrid supporters rapidly used Photoshop to answer…a Piqué false selfie suggests that he was celebrating with his rivals.
There will be numerous witty retorts between the two teams this week. The match is over, but not the war. Actually, there is more than a sporting rivalry at stake. The fans of F.C. Barcelona are usually seen as supporters of Catalan Nationalism, whereas the fans of Real Madrid F.C. tend to be associated with a more traditional concept of Spain and politics. But that is another story…or rather another match.