The big differences. Five classics later, Barça struck at the Bernabéu in their renowned way. He played well, attacked a lot, won with authority and celebrated with late hunger. To Barça, the style gives it an aristocratic dignity and the senyera of Catalonia as a shirt confirms it as more than a club. All this has a cultural weight that justifies the existence of Barça, even above the result. Madrid, on the other hand, feels universal from its Spanish identity and winning is its main reason for being. He likes to do it by giving a show, but without a reference style. The show can be called Di Stéfano, Raúl, Zidane or Modric because it is tied more to the quality of the players than to a certain idea. The “unarmed army of Catalonia” loves to conquer Madrid. To Madrid, more than losing a game, what humiliates him is losing a title.
The two Madrid. Between PSG and Barça there was a world of difference and not only in football terms. The Bernabéu is bipolar, it has a double personality. It is almost always a stadium that observes, as if it were a theater. It was Puskas who, from the beginning of time, said that “Madrid fans don’t shout because their mouths are full”. They have seen so much and so good that everything seems little to them. There are times when the silence is so uncomfortable that players run in self-defense to avoid being overtaken by indifference. That yes, suddenly, in games that are at a disadvantage, a goal hits a switch and the stadium becomes epic. It is then that a pack of 80,000 savages runs over the game with a double effect: Madrid gets fired up and the rival disappears. It’s called a comeback and it’s one of the club’s trademarks.
Of the great things… It is true that, just as Barça is recognized by its coaches, Madrid is recognized by its players. The Madrid of Di Stéfano, the Yeyé, that of the Fifth, the Galactic. As Ancelotti verified this week, the coaches serve to take the blame. But there is another characteristic that defines the club. Madrid like big things, so it is difficult for them to miss their goals. The Champions above all competitions. Mbappé above any other player. The Bernabéu above any other European stadium. Every club has its own soul that time is shaping due to the weight of history, the sociological context and even the choice of enemies from which it is necessary to differentiate. And Madrid has, in greatness, a heritage that gives it power.
…to the little things. Madrid played against Barça and lost two things: the game and a possible deal. The black t-shirt business, which was cursed by a bad result. My grandson, who is my unit of measure, doesn’t want it anymore. Play a superstitious question: it was enough to lose a game of great symbolic weight for it to have become jinxed. But the thing deserves a reflection that goes a little beyond the seven years of my grandson. Marketing has become very powerful in the dynamics of a club, so much so that, in economic terms, its impact is equal to that of the members. But what does the marketing department sell? In my opinion, above all things, the cultural load of the club sells and the white of the shirt is as critical an issue as the shield. Or more, because it allows immediate identification and, at this point, it is feared. Why mourn such greatness?
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Exclusive content for subscribers
read without limits