FC Barcelona – The Rivalry With Real Madrid

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 two rival teams inevitably end up meeting again and again, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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

It was during and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, such as Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had long 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 as a result of being a part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, on the other hand, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) as the «establishment» club. Though Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.

The fierce rivalry continued into the 1950s when both clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid eventually 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 in the 1960s, with Real Madrid winning one and FC Barcelona winning the other. The two teams clashed once again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed against each other again in the UEFA Champions League semi-final 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 term El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, but the growth of football in the Americas coupled with these two great teams’ rivalry led to the coining of the term as applied to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was mostly a marketing 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 each other out on the field to find out who is the best team in Spain. Sometimes FC Barcelona wins and sometimes Real Madrid wins, but ultimately football fans worldwide are the ones who win whenever these two giants meet on the field.

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The Most Popular Liverpool FC Merchandise

There is no doubt that Liverpool FC is one of the truly great soccer clubs of the world. Admittedly in recent years they may not have dominated the game in the way they did in the 1970s but the truth is that they have always made their impact felt at the highest level of European soccer.

And so it is hardly surprising that Liverpool has thousands of ardent fans scattered all over the world. Many of these fans never lose a single opportunity to feel closer to their club. One way of doing this is by getting hold player’s shirts and other playing kits and memorabilia that can easily be found in stores selling Liverpool merchandise.

Actually there is a very wide range of different stuff that you can buy. Even with the team shirts you will have to choose between the shirts the boys usually wear for their home games and what they would ordinary don for away matches. Or if you are a really serious fan you can make sure that you get both the strips.

As is the case with other soccer clubs, Liverpool FC player’s shirts are amongst the most popular merchandise that fans look to own so as to identify themselves with this great soccer club. There are even fans who purchase the complete team set right up to the goalkeeper.

Liverpool merchandise can also be a great idea if you need to get a gift for somebody whom you already know is a fan of the club. However it may be a good idea to start by finding out what memorabilia they already have so that you do not end up getting them something that they got a long time ago.

Another Liverpool item that is wildly popular are the hats if you have watched Liverpool games on TV you may have noticed what most fans like wearing. The most popular hats are called the beanies and will usually be decorated with the Liverpool colours and may sometimes even have the names of players and shirt numbers they usually wear.

Fans usually prefer to have the names of Liverpool legends on these hats. One such Liverpool soccer player who is a true legend is Steve Gerard. Although at a tender age he even had a trial with Manchester United, Gerard ended up signing his first professional soccer contract with Liverpool. The amazing thing is that in his first season he always looked pretty nervous and not the kind of player who would make any impact at Anfield. But in the 2000-2001 season Gerard exploded. Not only did he score 10 goals but he was clearly a very key member of the team that ended up winning both the FA cup and were also UEFA champions.

Who can forget Gerard’s enormous contribution to that sensational Champions league victory where Liverpool came from behind having conceded 3 goals by half time and ended up winning. This determined player won man of the match then.

And so you will understand when Liverpool fans seem to be crazy about Gerard wearing all kinds of team memorabilia and Liverpool merchandise that has his name or shirt number on it.

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