The tablecloth between the two biggest Spanish clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid has finally been cut. The public dispute has long ceased to be about possible bribery of referees, but about the question of which club historically has greater legacy issues.
It didn’t take long for Real Madrid to respond to the harsh allegations made by Barcelona’s club president late Monday night. He also used the afternoon press conference, in which he refuted any connections to referee bribery with reference to a new investigation report, for a clear attack on Real Madrid.
Because: The royals had actively intervened in the process “to protect legitimate interests”.
“I will refer to the appearance of a club in court,” Laporta began: “A club that went it alone, that acted as a private prosecutor. And a club that says it feels unfairly treated in sporting terms. And that club is Real Madrid. A club that we all know, past and present, has been favored by refereeing.”
Then came the sentence that took the discussion to a new dimension: “A club that is seen as a team of the regime.”
Real Madrid counters: “Who was the regime’s club?”
What was meant by this was that Real Madrid was the club that was closest to Spain’s dictator Franco – accusations that have always fueled the strong rivalry with anti-Francoist Catalonia, and thus with FC Barcelona.
However, the royals did not let the most recent verbal attack sit down. In a video lasting over four minutes, Real Madrid showed images showing the strong links between dictator Franco and FC Barcelona.
“Who was the regime’s club? The Camp Nou was inaugurated by Franco’s Minister General, José Solís Ruiz,” it says. The historic footage of the Camp Nous inauguration is followed by images showing Barca’s former presidents with Franco. In between, it reads: “Barcelona awarded Franco the Gold and Diamond Orders. Barcelona made Franco an honorary member in 1965. Barcelona has presented Franco with an award three times. Barcelona has been saved from bankruptcy three times by Franco.”
Barca players showed fascist salute
Barca won eight leagues and nine cups under Franco, while Real Madrid “it took 15 years to win the league”.
Also featured are images of Barcelona players giving the fascist salute before kick-off.
In contrast, as Real Madrid pointed out in the video, the capital club had faced ruin because of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939): “Real Madrid were dismantled by the civil war: players who were murdered and arrested or fled into exile , as the documentation of Santiago Bernabéu (former club president, editor’s note) shows.”
Real Madrid’s video has been viewed more than 11 million times on Twitter in just a few hours.