Barcelona room inextricably linked with the reason of Catalan separatism, yet why are real Madrid viewed as the team that the establishment?


The background of Spanish soccer is the background of Spain, with the country"s greatest sporting organizations serving together totemic representations of the contrary ideologies.

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El Clasico in between Real Madrid and also Barcelona, in particular, has come to be emblematic that the deep society and cultural divisions that gripped the nation for the majority of the 20th century.

While Barca are inherently Catalan and strongly associated with the reason of Catalanism, resources club real are viewed as being the preferred team of Spain"s political establishment.

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Indeed, Los Blancos space often depicted as being the favoured team of basic Francisco Franco - the dictator that ruled Spain indigenous the so late 1930s till his death in 1975 - and his regime.

However, the attach with the powers-that-be go not end with the demise of the Francoist government and also subsequent rulers have actually not to be shy about where their allegiance lies top top the pitch.

In stimulate to gain a fuller understanding of exactly how Real Madrid became viewed together the establishment class of Spanish football, one must end up being familiar v the history.

"Royal" Madrid

The society was not always known as actual Madrid and mainly played under the location of Madrid Football club from the early on 1900s till 1920.

Change come in 1920 when Spain"s King Alfonso XIII conferred the location of actual to the team and thereafter lock were well-known as genuine Madrid.

Real Madrid logo

Realis the Spanish word because that "royal", therefore they came to be by an interpretation the team the the king, for they had received his blessing.

In 1931, adhering to the establishment of the second Spanish Republic and also the dissolution of the monarchy, genuine was dropped indigenous the club"s name and also the crown was eliminated from their badge.

The club styled themselves as Madrid FC until two years after the Spanish polite War, v the crown and Real being restored in 1941.

They room not the only team in Spain with real in their name though; consider Real Sociedad, genuine Betis, real Valladolid and also Reial club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona (Espanyol), to surname a few.

Did general Franco support genuine Madrid?

General Francisco Franco and wife

Real Madrid, the capital"s chief club, to be nominally the team of the monarchy in Spain, but they came to be further entwined with the establishment during the Francoist regime.

The fallout of the Spanish civil War, which witnessed the be suppressive of areas such as Catalunya and the Basque country by Franco"s Madrid-domiciled forces, additional entrenched department in the country.

Football was no immune come the repressive policies that were rolled out in the aftermath. Barcelona, for example, were forced to eliminate the Catalan flag from your badge, if the speak of Catalan, Galician and also Basque languages was forbidden together Franco sought come impose his idea of a homogenous Spanish state on the people.

Such draconian measures, in tandem v widespread suspicions the Madrid were start to be cure favourably, sustained the idea the Franco had actually a soft spot for the funding club.

One such example came in 1943, when Real Madrid inflicted one 11-1 defeat on Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa del Generalisimo (now Copa del Rey). It to be a stunning an outcome and remains the biggest-ever Clasico loss recorded.

In the aftermath, allegations emerged from a variety of Barca"s players and also staff the they had actually been intimidated by police before the game, despite they were never proven.

"In that tie, , Barcelona were get over by military pressure and also people close come the Falange (the nation"sFascist and also National Syndicalist political party)," chronicler Joan Barau told score of the controversial match.

Real Madrid "the best embassy us have ever before had"

However, for a team the was hosted up together the establishment"s favourite, actual were in reality not an especially successful in the at an early stage years the La Liga and also the Franco regime. Despite they won titles in 1932 and 1933, lock only started to conquer in the 1950s and also 1960s - some say with the assist of Franco"s establishment.

An illustration the the club"s raising prominence in the minds of the country"s decision-makers deserve to be uncovered in the native of Fernando Maria Castiella, who served as Minister of international Affairs under Franco native 1957 till 1969. "Real Madrid is a layout of sportsmanship," claimed Castiella. "It is the finest embassy us have ever had."

As well as that, Franco notably made a allude to officially recognize the successes achieved by genuine Madrid, while also seemingly snubbing occasions as soon as Barcelona triumphed.

Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that Barcelona, as a bastion of Catalan culture, represented the opposition come what Franco wished to achieve, the dictator actually preserved allies in ~ the club.

General Francisco Franco and wife

He was friendly with Josep Samitier, one iconic number who played for and also managed Barcelona before ending up being a vital figure behind the scenes. Indeed, Franco is claimed to have had a significant influence in securing the signing the Barca legend LaszloKubala. Equally though, conspiracies abound that the pair were complicit in transport of Alfredo Di Stefano to actual Madrid instead of Barca.

Given his ideology, over there is no doubt that general Franco to be keen to view the long-term success of genuine Madrid. Because that him, they offered as a convenient counterweight to Barcelona and everything the Catalan society stood because that - if there was to be a leading force in Spanish football, you have the right to be certain Franco would want it to it is in Castilian royal fairly than Catalan separatist.

However, he was plainly willing to compromise on the position as soon as it suitable him. Together the journalist and writer Jimmy Burns wrote: "Bernabeu to be his natural home yet his political instinct took him top top occasions come Les Corts, and later come the Camp Nou."

Do the Spanish royal family support genuine Madrid?

King Felipe through Florentino Perez Zinedine Zidane

While time have certainly moved on from the Francoist era, the reverberations room still felt in El Clasico come this day.

A tardy lingers that genuine Madrid are still favoured by the establishment, v fans and players sometimes saying that referees room in the edge of Los Blancos.

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While together a charge is plainly too difficult to prove, the is true the Real keep a close connection with the Spanish imperial family.