FourFourTwo's 50 Biggest Derbies in the World, No.2: Barcelona vs Real Madrid

There are games between clubs, and there are games between countries. And somewhere in the middle is Barcelona vs Real Madrid.

Bobby Robson’s description sums up the beef at the heart of this rivalry: “Catalunya is a country and FC Barcelona is their army.” In fact, Catalunya is an autonomous community within Spain, and Barça’s players don’t usually take to the field in tanks, but the world-famous football team is the most visible manifestation of Catalan pride.

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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.