A Delayed Clasico

Today’s finally the day. Today, El Clásico finally gets played, a full seven weeks after it was originally scheduled to be played, then was pushed back. However, given the eternally charged environment of the matchup between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, will the problems that caused the delay in the first place sprout up again?

First, some context. The match was originally supposed to take place in late October but was delayed because of pro-Catalonian protests in Barcelona. The protest was about the imprisonment of Catalonian independence leaders, who were jailed for treason. Obviously, having a high-profile match during a time of civil unrest is not what La Liga would want, so they did something unprecedented and delayed the world’s most famous club matchup.

But will the tensions rise again? Some people are afraid of this, but I’m here to tell you that it wouldn’t be an authentic Clasico without it. FC Barcelona have long been emblematic of Catalonia and its independence movement while Real Madrid symbolize the Spanish monarchy and Spain as a whole. Therein lies the true beauty of El Clásico: it’s the best way to express and release pent-up frustration about the sociopolitical debate that has hung over the Spanish nation for countless years. The best part is that, once the whistle sounds, everyone forgets about why Spain and Catalonia are always at odds and why Catalonians are protesting against Spain. Everyone just focuses on the game.

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