Synopses & Reviews
It's Messi vs. Ronaldo, It's Guardiola vs. Mourinho. It's the nation against the state, freedom fighters vs. Franco's fascists. It's majestic goals and mesmerizing skills, red cards and bench brawls. It's the best two teams on the planet going face-to-face and toe-to-toe. It's the greatest of our time vs. the greatest of all time. It's more than a game. It's a war. It's Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. It's El Clásico.
Only, it's not quite that simple. From the wounds left by the Civil War to the teams' current global domination, Spanish soccer expert and historian Sid Lowe lifts the lid on soccer's biggest rivalry, and possibly the greatest rivalry in all of sports. With exclusive testimonies and astonishing anecdotes, Lowe invites us to take a closer look at the most important eras of this unique hostility, including Madrid's golden age in the fifties where they won five European cups, Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, the doomed Galactico experiment and Luis Figo's "betrayal."
Joan Gaspart, Barcelona's vice-president for twenty-two years before becoming president in 2000, was asked the central question at the heart of the clásico can the rivalry be understood in purely sports terms, without a social or political element? His answer is straight to the point, Impossible.” Madrid and Barcelona cant be taken in isolation from society, nor from Spain's history.
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics and language, while never forgetting the drama on the field, Lowe demonstrates the symbiotic nature of the relationship between these two soccer giants, and reveals the true story behind this explosive rivalry.
About the Author
Sid Lowe is an expert on Spanish soccer and history, and has written for The Guardian and guardian.co.uk since 2001. He regularly appears on the Guardian's Soccer Podcast Football Weekly where he gives updates on the latest news in La Liga, the top division of Spanish soccer. He also writes regularly for World Soccer, FourFourTwo, and the Telegraph. He works as a commentator and panelist for Spanish, Asian and US television and has acted as translator for David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Thomas Gravesen. He lives in Madrid.