When General Franco helped Real Madrid destroy Barcelona
As Real Madrid and Barcelona prepare for El Clasico on Monday, we take a look at how General Franco made things a little easier for the Spanish giants.
Real Madrid versus Barcelona is a rivalry that’s been around longer than our parents and even a few of our grandparents.
The two teams share a rich and historic rivalry, ranging from showcasing great football to controversy. It is a rivalry that is deeply rooted in politics.
However, today we are not going to go into every detail. Today the focus is on how a certain general France gave Real Madrid the lead. While all of Europe was burning after the outbreak of World War II, Spain had its own dictator in the person of General Francisco France.
The general was a true despot and a man responsible for many of the anti-authoritarian feelings in Catalonia that still exist today. The Camp Nou was the only place where the Catalan language was spoken openly. Therefore, we can understand why Barcelona holds a special place in the hearts of locals.
On June 13, 1943, Real Madrid did something to Barcelona in the Copa del Generalisimo (yes before it was called Copa del Rey), which will forever be etched in the memory of Catalan fans.
The Blaugrana beat Real Madrid 3-0 in the first leg before traveling to the Estadio Chamartin, Madrid’s humble home before the Santiago Bernabeu. The Catalans were the favorites to reach the final but according to famous historian Joan Barau the second leg was no competition to begin with.
Real Madrid take political advantage
According to rumors and testimonies from several members of Barcelona’s squad and coaching staff, they were threatened by fascist police before kick-off. According to a legend, Spain’s Director of State Security threatened the players which practically drained them of all the confidence they had.
The game was General Franco’s way of showing the full extent of his powers to the Catalans.
Barau says: “In this tie, [at the Bernabeu]Barcelona were overwhelmed by military pressure and those close to the Falange (the National Fascist and National-Syndicalist political party), which greatly heated the atmosphere.
Real Madrid won the game 11-1. It was a game that is remembered as a match of shame and result that Los Blancos never really brag about because it’s a skeleton in the club’s cupboard that they’d rather never open.