Bound Volume Number
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Prof. Joan Deppa
Prof. Dieter Roberto Kuehl
Madrid, Barcelona, football club
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Advertising and Promotion Management
In the Capstone, I will explore one of the most intense football clashes in history: El Clásico (The Classic), which refers to a match-up between Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona. When these most successful football clubs meet on the field for 90 minutes of intense action, it soon becomes very clear that this is much more than just a game or just sports. The field can be seen as a battleground, and the game could be a substitute for war between two ideologies, cultures, and social classes. This rivalry has a real and profound political tone, which goes back many decades. Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona not only represent Madrid and Barcelona, but they are also associated with opposing political positions. Real Madrid C.F. represents Spanish nationalism, right-wing establishment-based ideology, and the central government. FC Barcelona represents Catalanism and left-wing and socialism.
When the teams compete on the field, the two political ideologies also clash. Moreover, FC Barcelona supports the separatism movement of Catalan, and this is clearly evident from fan behavior. The slogan “més que un club” (more than a club) expresses FC Barcelona’s commitment to Catalan society, which has gone beyond the realm of sports. The club always supports the Catalan region and honors its culture. The political atmosphere surrounding this unique football rivalry completely overwhelmed and fascinated me. One cannot fully understand this rivalry without taking historical, cultural, and political backgrounds into account.
I want to understand where these clubs fit in today’s Spanish society. Are these clubs more than sporting institutions? Will the love and hatred surrounding El Clásico continue for another century? What do ordinary fans really think about the rivalry and how do they express their feelings via the social medium of Twitter? What factors have kept the rivalry going? Who has engineered and hyped the rivalry and why?
Zhou, Ruitong, "More Than Just A Game: From Regional Sports Rivalry to Separatist Politics" (2015). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 901.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.