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As long as there have been sport teams, there have been rivalries. Whether it's the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the 2 rival groups inevitably find yourself meeting many times, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football groups FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona (also known as Barça by its fans) and Real Madrid are of the earliest Spanish football teams, both forming in the 1890s. From the start, the 2 teams were seen as representatives of rival areas of Spain, the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Catalonia. Both teams had been a part of La Liga, a Spanish football league and a rivalry that went far beyond football rapidly took root.

It was throughout and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, comparable to Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had lengthy been associated with more progressive fashions and political ideas, such as democracy-which was the diametric opposite of Franco's dictatorial regime. FC Barcelona suffered on account of being part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, however, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) as the "institution" club. Although Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.

The fierce rivalry continued into the 1950s when each clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid finally won out and Alfredo Di Stefano went on to lead them to many wins. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went head-to-head twice at the European Cup within the Sixties, with Real Madrid winning one and FC Barcelona winning the other. The 2 teams clashed as soon as again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed against one another once more within the UEFA Champions League semi-closing in 2002, with Real Madrid getting the win. The Spanish media dubbed the match "The Match of the Century".

In the mid-2000s, the rivalry ascended to further heights when it acquired its own name, El Clasico. The time period El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, but the growth of football in the Americas coupled with these great teams' rivalry led to the coining of the term as applied to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was mostly a advertising scheme communicated via GolTV, an all-football satellite channel, but the term has been embraced by fans worldwide.

El Clasico shows no signs of slowing. To this very day, the two teams inevitably seek one another out on the field to find out who's one of the best crew in Spain. Generally FC Barcelona wins and sometimes Real Madrid wins, but in the end football fans worldwide are the ones who win every time these giants meet on the field.

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