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El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid: Football's Greatest Rivalry [Paperback]

Richard Fitzpatrick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 Aug 2013

Real Madrid versus Barcelona is regarded by many as the most captivating fixture in world football. But it is not only the on-pitch battles that have forged their rivalry. From General Franco and bloody civil war to the Catalan city of Barcelona's lukewarm reaction to Spain's recent World Cup and European Championship triumphs, bitterness is never far from the surface.

In El Clásico, Richard Fitzpatrick charts the key political and historical flashpoints between the two clubs. With exclusive interviews with key figures, including Luís Figo, Hristo Stoichkov, Joan Laporta and Vicente del Bosque, El Clásico is the definitive guide to football's greatest feud.

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El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid: Football's Greatest Rivalry + Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; Paperback edition (1 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408158809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408158807
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Fitzpatrick's book is invaluable for the context that it gives a match that you might have watched superficially for years (Observer)

Richard Fitzpatrick ... is an objective examiner of the complex political and social reasons this rivalry was born and nurtured, unearthing some surprising facts along the way ... Engrossing (Independent)

Once I picked up El Clásico, I couldn't stop reading. It's unbelievably good . Absolutely fascinating (Mark Lawrenson)

The greatest story in club football is the El Clasico opera. Richard Fitzpatrick delves deep to enhance our understanding of this intense rivalry. Power, politics and most of all the brilliance of the football are all on show in these pages (Paul Hayward, Daily Telegraph)

A fascinating and detailed attempt to get to the heart of one of the most complicated and poisonous rivalries in football (Guardian)

For anyone who wants to understand why Barcelona v Real Madrid means so much more than a straightforward match between an unparalleled array of footballing stars, this book should become essential reading (Guillem Balague, Sky Sports)

Top football writing (Dara Ó Briain)

By taking Barça vs Madrid beyond the boundaries of sport, Fitzpatrick offers an absorbing history of the two cities' political and cultural flashpoints, and how this has matured into one of the most fiery rivalries on earth. Suberbly researched, it's a fascinating read (FourFourTwo)

Fitzpatrick's tales of some the world's best football players will hold you at every page (Irish Examiner)

Carefully positioning himself as an outsider . Fitzpatrick gives voice to a huge range of opinions and personal stories from both sides of the fence. [which] makes El Clàsico such a satisfying read (When Saturday Comes Magazine)

Richard Fitzpatrick's enormously enjoyable take on the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona (Irish Times)

Any fan of the game will start reading for the football, be enticed deeper by the quality of writing and research and enthralled by the depth and scope of El Clásico (The Book Bag)

Book Description

An investigation of the intrigue, politics and culture behind El Clásico - the hard-fought, long-running contest between two of the world's biggest football clubs - explaining the place sport's greatest rivalry has in Spanish life and the world of football.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 18 Sep 2012
I read this book in about 2 days while on holidays.
I only began to follow La Liga in the last 10 years mainly due to increased TV coverage and in recent years I have been able to go to games in both the Camp Nou and the Bernabéu. I don't really have a great preference for either team but I hugely enjoy the rivalry/drama between the clubs and the high quality of the players. I rarely miss watching a Classico on TV when they are played.

The book El Classico helped me fill in a lot of blanks about why this rivalry is so intense. I now appreciate why there is such dis-harmony/hatred between supporters of the clubs and how it reflects what a divided country modern Spain is. For example local Catalan tax is spent throughout Spain but the taxes of the Basque region are only spent locally!

What I really liked about the book is that offers a very indepth analysis into the personalities involved, especially that of Jose Mourinho. Also there are very interesting interviews with legends like Luis Figo, Hristo Stoichkov, Charly Rexach and current Spanish national team manager Vincente Del Bosque.

If like me you are interested in Spanish football but do not speak Spanish then I do not think you will get these insights anywhere else. Most journalistic coverage of Spanish football that I read is either will Messi score more goals than Ronaldo, which of them earns the higher wages or which team will spend the most money in the transfer window? For those who want to read non tabloid football journalism about Spanish football this is the book to read. The writer uses an easy simple style of writing with plenty humour and he gets the balance right between the history of the rivalry and what it is like for the fans of both clubs today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mannix
El Clasico is a great read for anyone who is interested in football. Most of the stories we normally read and coverage we see on TV about Spanish football is just surface stuff and bland highlights. But El Clasico get underneath the skin of the most intriguing rivalry in the game worldwide. The author has a nice turn of phrase and subtle humour to go with it. Very enjoyable all round.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Richard Fitzpatrick delivers an insightful and eye opening account of one of the greatest football rivalries - a ringside seat at a proxy war between a nation state and a nation without a state.
Wonderful interviews bring insights into some of the more acrimonious incidents and transfers (Figo, Di Stéfano).
A real page turner - a must for anyone with even a passing interest in football.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Clasico: Football's greatest rivalry 17 Sep 2012
By Townie
This comprehensive and very enjoyable read, gives us an objective view of the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid. As the author reveals, the story is so much more than a football match. Over the course of El Clasico he manages to successfully weave a sporting, cultural and historical saga into a great story, and this is a great story. Popular myths are exposed to reveal some very surprising truths. We know that El Clasico is biggest football show in town and thanks to Richard Fitzpatrick we now know why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Estupendo Libro ! 10 Sep 2012
Many of us lovers of the "great game" have at least some knowledge of the epic rivalry that exists between Barcelona and Real Madrid but this incredible book explores the history and human interest story behind the match and introduces us to an incredible cast of characters. It tells the story with warmth and humor; it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring 28 Aug 2012
I watched last Thursday's first leg of the Spanish Supercup through new eyes; informed,enlightened,intrigued thanks to this book.Fitzpatrick provides insight,pulling no punches, leaving the reader astounded at one moment,in stitches the next.The pages turn themselves. For any football fanatic,this book is a must. El Clasico conveys the world of football's greatest rivalry vividly,one enters another world, and watching Barcelona versus Real Madrid will never be the same again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid 24 Mar 2014
By O. Hall
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book as a Christmas present for my son who absolutely enjoyed the book as he follows Barcelona quite seriously.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Barcelona vRead Madrid footballbook 8 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book for my grandson who is a Barcelona fan and I am a Madrid fan,living in Spain. He is very pleased with his book, although just a little old for him at present. It arrived promptly and in good condition. Thanks
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EL UGLIO!... AND THE WORLD STILL LOVE THEM???
Published 7 months ago by pedro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
If you know nothing about why these two clubs hate eachother other than being the best two clubs and you are interested in Spanish football and/or politics I recommend... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wayne Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars El clasico
Excellent book covering one of the great derbies of the world.
Dispels a few myths on both sides which continue to this day. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Duncan Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars class
great book for every football fan ,a good insight to what really happens behind the scenes of this classic football game
Published 15 months ago by J. Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars FCB
I really loved it, best book to tell you the insight of El Classico clash..!! It was almost India vs Pakistan in cricket & Germany vs England in football, intense rivalry..!!
Published 15 months ago by Jayasankar Manimugham
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff
Fascinating insight to the world of el classical and the history of both clubs. Would highly recommend this book to any football fan.
Published 20 months ago by Ethical Atheist
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A Christmas present for someone who loves football especially Barcelons. A good read and would recommend it to anyone interested in these two teams.
Published 20 months ago by faye
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb details
Great read detailing the rivalary between these two great clubs describing the different cultures which exist at both of these clubs.
Published 20 months ago by Leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Football book I have ever read
This is without a shadow of doubt one of the best books on any sport I have ever read. I could not put it down from start to finish. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Fergal O'Keeffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and hugely entertaining
This is a hugely entertaining book, which provides a terrific insight into the Madrid/Barca rivalry. Read more
Published 22 months ago by mwhelan
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