Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 2011, The Month of El Clásico

For some of you who doesn't follow football, here's an introduction. El Clásico is the name given to any match between Spanish football giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. It was first contested on the 13th of May, 1902 where Barcelona trashed Madrid in a 3-1 battle. The rivalry came about because Barcelona and Madrid are the two most largest cities in Spain and apparently the two most riches, successful and admired football club in Spain and I guess also in the world. And another reason for the famed rivalry is Barcelona (Catalonia region) represents the Catalan pride and identity while Madrid (Castilian region) emulates "Spanish Nationalist" sentiments. During the early days of Spanish football, Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator in the 1930s, always favored Real Madrid over Barcelona causing the Barcelona citizens/fans to oppose the fascist's regime. As of today, El Clásico is the most followed club rivalry in the history of football.

Fast forward to April 2011, football fanatics all over the world will witness FOUR (one will be in May 3/4) El Clásico matches.

One will be at Spanish La Liga 2010/2011 on April 16/17, this will be the second time this two clubs will meet in the current season of La Liga. La Liga is the professional first division football competition in Spain similar to English Premier League and/or USA's NBA.

Here's the video of what happened in their first meeting during the current season of La Liga:

Another is the championship for the Copa del Ray after Barcelona defeated Almeria on 5-0 aggregate score and Sevilla bowed to Madrid on 3-0 aggregate score on the Cup's semi finals. Copa del Ray or The King's Cup in English, is the annual football cup competition in Spain. First competition was played in 1902 after Carlos Padrós, later became Madrid's president, suggested a football competition that would celebrate the coronation of Alfonso XIII. Copa del Ray is somewhat similar to England's FA Cup where lower ranked clubs can battle it out with higher ranking clubs. This year's finals will be staged at Mestalla, Valencia on April 20, 2011.

Lastly, one of the semi-final match of the UEFA Champions League 2010/2011 will be an El Clásico. After Barcelona defeated Shakhtar Donetsk on an aggregate score of 6-1 and Real Madrid finishing their quarter-final match with Tottenhan Hotspur in 5-0 margin, the two mighty club will once again return on the same pitch, two times(home and away), to claim a spot in the finals of this years Champions League. First leg will be on 27 April 2011 at Madrid's home turf Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the second leg is on 3 May 2011 at the 90,000+ seater Camp Nou in Barcelona.

Watch the games and cheer for your favorite club!

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