One of the biggest matches of the year, if not the biggest, was previously scheduled to take place on Sunday, the 28th of November. However, news from Spain has brought it to our understanding that the match has been postponed from Sunday to Monday, the 29th of November, because of some elections taking place in Catalonia. The move has rankled many and titillated a few.
David Villa called it “weird” while Maxwell called it “unusual.” I called it "RIDICULOUS." Playing El Clasico on a Monday is one of the most absurd things one could expect in the game of football. It's probably the biggest match of the year and for it to be played on practically the busiest day of the week is a degradation of the match if you ask me. However, there are some fun facts to note going into this game that has "Real Madrid Will Win" written all over it.
Firstly, there have been 160 Clasicos played since La Liga started in 1929. 102 have been played on Sundays, 48 on Saturdays, four on Wednesdays, two on Mondays, two on Thursdays, and one each on Tuesday and Friday. Funny enough, the only two times the clasicos were played on a Monday, Real Madrid ended up winning the league.
The first one was on the 30th of March, 1964. Real Madrid won the game by two goals to one, with Gento and Puskas scoring for Madrid and Zaldua for Barca. That time, it was Easter that forced the rescheduling of the game to avoid poor attendance at the stadium, and it worked, because 85,000 fans came to watch Miguel Munoz’ Real Madrid side demolish the home team. Real Madrid went on to win the league with Barcelona as the runners-up.
The second one took place on April 3rd of 1972. Barcelona won this time around by one goal to nothing. A controversial Asensi goal sealed the deal for the Catalunyans. Even though this was preceded by a one-one draw earlier in the season, the whites went ahead to win the league with Barcelona ending in third place.
It’s also interesting to know that no Spanish team has won the league title more than two times in a row since the 1994-1995 season. The last team to win the league more than four times in a row was Barcelona. They held the league title from 1990-1994, for four straight years.
Also, the last time Barca beat Athletico Madrid (2006-2007) in the Vincente Calderon, Real Madrid won the league.
The first leg of this encounter is by no means the end of the world, but for the past six to seven years, either of the two teams that won the first leg of El Clasico went on to win the league.
These are fun facts, and as a Madridista, I find them very exciting. Nevertheless, these stats don't confirm a victory for Real Madrid in any way. Besides, it only takes a day to begin a story. The two teams are as great as ever and it’s almost impossible to predict a winner. If this match lives up to its expectations, it might come down as the biggest match of the decade, not only because of the size of the stadiums involved, but also because of the individual rivalries to look out for.
I, for one, was very disappointed to hear that this game was going to be played on a Monday, but history has given me solace. Let's just hope the match is played in good spirit and free of external influences.