Experiencing El Clasíco | Our pictures from the historic game


Written by Jakob

It doesn't get much bigger than El Clasico. It's one of the absolute biggest spectacles in world football and something that people around the world absolutely don't want to miss. To make things even better, when it's more or less deciding La Liga, it's a pretty nifty treat. Especially when our friends at adidas Football sent an invite our way to go behind the scenes of the rivalry.

If you just came here for the images, let's do a quick round-up so you can focus on all the snaps we took during the 4 days in Madrid with adidas; we visited the Real Madrid training ground in Valdebebas, spoke to club legend Emilio Butragueno, went pitch-side at the Bernabeu on the day before the match just because and, of course, had some pretty epic seats for the match itself. Sick? You bet.

In case you'd like to know a bit more, the good folks at adidas Football invited us to Madrid in order to really seep in the atmosphere around the biggest sporting event in the world and to give us an idea of how much it meant to not only Real Madrid as a club, but to the entire city and the fans. We weren't disappointed. It's no secret that Madrid is a city blessed with two great clubs - but a big chunk of the football mad people there support Real Madrid - and thus, you could feel the buzz everywhere you went.

Our friends at adidas first took us to the training ground of Real Madrid in the outskirts of the city, called Valdebebas. A huge(!) campus with no less than 14 pitches, all of which are of course the same grass as on the Santiago Bernabeu. Here, we witnessed how Real Madrid warmed up to El Clasico and also spoke to Senor Butragueno, one of the most iconic strikers in Real Madrid history, about the magnitude of the match.

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Fast forward a day, and we found ourselves first on a rooftop overlooking the Bernabeu and then inside the stadium itself, soaking up the calm atmosphere before the storm and meeting an old Unisportlife friend. It's a funny contrast - as quiet as a stadium can be when it's empty, it can be just a noisy and crazy when it's full and two of the best teams in the country clash.

You've probably all seen how the game itself went. It was a rollercoaster - not just because of the fat guy next to me chewing bird seeds and screaming the name of whichever player was closest to the sideline (...seriously, even if he DID hear you, what did you really expect him to do?) - but because of the tension. People KNEW that even with Real Madrid being 1-0 up, Barcelona were dangerous. Then came the equaliser. Hearbreak. Then the Rakitic goal. More heartbreak and a deafening silence. When James scored, the stadium erupted - scarves were swung around, hugs were given. Only for Lionel Messi to spoil to party, of course.

If you've never been to an El Clasico match, you should definitely consider it - even being a Manchester United support, I found myself with goosebumps inside the stadium several times. And OK, you might not get the full VIP treatment (seriously, adidas, thanks!) but it's still worth going to a match. Now, roll on the run-in of La Liga...