Nowadays, football is one of the most famous and beloved sports games in the world. During the last decades, the sport has developed: it became more professional, commercial, and businesslike. Proceeding from this, the concept of success has also changed, and there is a variety of methods used in the sports industry to achieve it. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the top European Football Clubs, which are usually opposed to each other. The difference in results, which they have attained, displays that during a long time they applied different strategies and went different ways to achievements in sport and profit.
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History of Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid was founded in 1902 and it was in the top of Spanish football ever since. The games with the participation of the Club draw a lot of attention and gather thousands of fans in the stadiums. Since 2000, Real Madrid attained great success, “carrying off two La Liga titles, one Champions League Cup, and one Intercontinental Cup” (Gomez, Kase, Marti, Opazo, and Urrutia 4). Along with these sporting achievements and despite all the financial crises, Real Madrid’s finance has remained sustained and the Club was announced the world’s richest football club multiple times (Giulianotti and Robertson 88). It can be easily explained by the precedence of Real Madrid’s brand on the market and by the popularity of the image created by the team which never fails (Carlin 106).
History of FC Barcelona
Barcelona Football Club was founded in 1899, and it became a symbol of the Spanish region, Catalonia. When Catalonia became a sovereign entity, the fans waved Catalan flags and sang for independence during Barcelona’s games (Curry par. 2). This example indicates that the team’s image is symbolic to many people, and it is connected to politics and other social aspects of life. As for the financial situation, during some time since 2000, Barcelona suffered from the crisis but a few years after the situation improved, “albeit without actually reaching the healthy balance sheet” (Gomez, Kase, Marti, Opazo and Urrutia 4). By 2014 Barcelona finally reached the top three of the world’s richest football clubs. The most successful year in regard to the wins on the field was 2009 when Barcelona won all the biggest European tournaments: La Liga, Cope del Rey, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, etc. “The current F.C. Barcelona team cemented itself in the discussions of being the best team of all time by winning 14 out of a possible 19 trophies in a span of four years” (Curry par.1).
Barcelona and Real Madrid are two competitors, they represent “the rivalry between Spain’s regions” (Ball 26). Of course, both of the teams aim to win the games; nevertheless, Real Madrid is the one that is usually depictured as invincible. “Spain’s most successful club is almost neurotically fixated on winning, on hammering home the idea that nothing else matters” (Ball 113). This attitude differs from Real Madrid from Barcelona, which wears the title of the Catalan symbol. As the club’s motto states, Barcelona is “more than a club” and it will always be appreciated and praised by its Catalan fans for the wins and despite all the losses (Chadwick 266). Although achievements in sport, commercial profit, and popularity rating are significant inducements for the rivalry to occur, the biggest motive is the opposition of the Spanish regions and it has political context.
Ball, Phil. Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football. London: WSC Books Ltd, 2004. Print.
Carlin, John. White Angels: Beckham, Real Madrid and the New Football. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004. Print.
Chadwick, Simon and Sean Hamil. ManagingFootball: An International Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann imprint of Elsevier, 2010. Print.
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Curry, Collin. “Real Madrid C.F., F.C. Barcelona Share a Rivalry With No Rivals.” Alpine Living, 2013. Web.
Giulianotti, Richard and Roland Robertson. Globalization and Football. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2009. Print.
Gomez, Sandalio, Kimio Kase, Carlos Marti, Magdalena Opazo, and Ignacio Urrutia. “Real Madrid – Barcelona: Business Strategy v. Sports Strategy, 2000 – 2006.” Occasional Paper 12.6 (2006): 1-26. Web.