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 mesmerising 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 Clasico.
Only, it's not quite that simple. From the wounds left by the Civil War to the teams' current global domination, Spanish football expert and historian Sid Lowe lifts the lid on football's biggest rivalry. 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'.
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics and language, while never forgetting the drama on the pitch, Lowe demonstrates the symbiotic nature of the relationship between these two football giants. In doing so he reveals the truth behind this explosive rivalry.
SID LOWE is the number one expert on Spanish football and history. He lives in Madrid and writes a weekly column for "guardian.co.uk." He also writes regularly for the "Guardian, World Soccer, FourFourTwo," and the "Telegraph." He works as a commentator and panellist for Spanish, Asian and US television and has acted as translator for David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Thomas Gravesen. On top of that he is a historian, whose previous book, "Catholicism, War and the Foundation of Francoism," was a history of the Spanish Civil War