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The Lightning Strike

El Clasico in Miami

Alexis Sanford

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Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet in a preseason exhibition at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on July 29.

El Clasico, the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, began May 13, 1902 when Barcelona took the win 3-1 in their first ever encounter. However, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st  century that the fierce rivalry became clear. El Clasico is the domestic soccer game with the biggest audience in the world.

Soccer isn’t the only reason behind the rivalry, the two clubs strongly represent their regions of Castile and Catalonia, which have feuded over political control of Spain. Barcelona supporters tend to be left-wings favoring regional autonomy, while Madrid fans are more right-wing centralists, according to an official study in 2002.

Competition intensified in the 1950’s when Real Madrid and Barcelona fought over Alfredo Di Stefano, an Argentinean legend. The clubs and soccer’s governing body agreed that they would have to share Di Stefano, but after a couple games with Barcelona, they backed out of the deal and Di Stefano became an official Real Madrid player.

El Clasico has been known for the quality of players on the field. Known players like Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Johan Cruyff, and of more modern times Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, have faced off over the years. However, today the Clasico has often been overshadowed by the amount of yellow and red cards being the center of attention.

Over 46,000 tickets have been sold for the match at Hard Rock Stadium, and if you haven’t purchased tickets yet be prepared to pay over $500 for nosebleed seats. It is a special event because the teams have only met once outside Spanish soil, in 1982 in Venezuela, but South Florida soccer fans are disappointed and completely shocked by the ticket prices.

Event organizers explained that the cost of bringing the clubs to Miami,and all the other events associated including: concerts, fan experiences, VIP parties, Legends Game, and a second-game between Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain on July 26 bumped the ticket prices up much higher than a typical exhibition match.

However, they said  there will be events accessible at a much lower cost, including Friday training sessions with Real Madrid and Barcelona and the PSG-Juventus match, with tickets starting at $35.

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El Clasico in Miami