Is El Clásico Bigger Than The Superbowl?



Lionel Messi celebrates a late winner in front of Real Madrid fans.

Aaron Ferreira, Contributor

Another year, another Super Bowl for the Patriots. At the moment, it seems like there is no better feeling. But is El Clásico more important to the fanbases of Real Madrid and Barcelona than the Super Bowl is to a fan of a participating team?

El Clásico, one of the most hotly contested fixtures in sports, is the famous rivalry which pits Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid against each other. At any time during El Clásico, an unprecedented amount of talent is both on and off the field as the two best teams in soccer battle each other for the win.

That is not to say that the Super Bowl does not contain the best talents of the game of football, but the scouting systems of Barça and Real scope players from around the world. These players, some of which are brought to their clubs as young as 11, and others, who are purchased later in their careers, either go through the team’s academy, where they are molded to how the team plays, or scouted, if they are older, to suit a specific need in the club as to improve the team. In the sport of football, however, young players can play for youth teams and school teams, but are not intentionally sculpted to suit a specific professional team. This means that soccer games generally have more quality than an average football game.

El Clásico is also a rivalry. The Super Bowl typically does not end up pitting two rivals against each other due to the setup, taking the NFC and AFC conference winners, and having the two face each other in the Super Bowl. This means that the two fan bases involved in a Clásico are passionate because of who the other team is, as compared to those involved in a Super Bowl, who may view the other team as rivals for a fortnight, but don’t continue to despise the other side, especially if they win.

Revenge in the Super Bowl, which may make the fans more passionate for their team, still doesn’t compare to El Clásico. Every game in El Clásico is for revenge of some type, and the fans continue to hate their rivals. Build up for the next league El Clásico is months long, as each fanbase keeps a close eye on the other team, hoping that their rivals slip up. Football fans don’t have the same animosity towards their opponent as Madridistas do towards Barça, and vice-versa.

It is not the sport that separates these two huge sporting events, but rather the structures of their teams and fanbases. Both Barça and Madrid’s systems of scouting and developing players is far more advanced than that of NFL teams. This allows them to accumulate more quality on their teams, as opposed to teams in the Super Bowl, who are restricted from getting so much developed talent on their teams. The fact that El Clásico is a rivalry also pushes it ahead of the Super Bowl. The fan bases tend to be more passionate because of this, as their team fights for pride, the league title, the domestic cup title, and the UEFA Champions League: one of the most, if not the most, prestigious trophies in sports.