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The History Of El Clasico: June 1943, When Real Madrid Beat Barcelona By Ten Goals

by Robbie Dunne
23 January 2014 10 Comments

Who would've known 1943's Copa del Generalísimo would be the catalyst for the kind of mind games and roughhouse tactics that would last to this day?

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Much has been talked of the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s Madrid versus Republican Barcelona. The rivalry itself is older than anyone who will read this piece but there were certain things that escalated the rivalry. It was said by a Madrid official that “If Barcelona did not exist, then Madrid would have to invent them” Most of it happens to be true but there was a game played on the in the Spanish Cup, then known as the Copa del Generalísimo and now known as the Cope del Rey, on June 13th, 1943 that would be the catalyst for the kind of mind games and roughhouse tactics employed by the likes of Jose Mourinho et al years later.

The scoreline, 11-1, was said to be “as absurd as it was abnormal” but the game was played in the strangest of circumstances. It was before the Bernabeu stadium was built and the match was held in Chamartín Stadium in Madrid. Death threats for those unwilling to join in in the abuse of the Catalan club and it’s players were handed down by Franco in an effort to stamp Madrid’s authority on Spanish football.

The background to the game was that Barcelona has won the first leg 3-0 and a famous journalist, Eduardo Teus (Madridista), at the time wrote of Madrid’s lack of conviction, among other things, in an effort to ignite the Madrid players and fans. I am not sure if you have read the newspaper, Marca, recently but it contains undertones of the kind of partisan views that Marca now regularly runs with. Teus wrote in an effort to rile the Madrid fans to boiling point. Few would disagree with the opinion that he did so in spectacular fashion.

Barcelona president Piñyero sent a letter to Madrid in the hope that it would ease tensions before the second lef but the letter not only didn’t help but it incensed Madrid officials so much so that there was never any coming back and Madrid officials encouraged Madrid fans to join in the taunting of Barcelona. (Although there were no pigs heads thrown, it was still remarkably tense).


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The Barcelona fans had whistled the players and booed and were eventually fined for their actions in the 1st leg and in return, the Madrid fans or officials (nobody is sure) handed out whistles with every ticket purchased in an effort to cause unrest within the Barcelona squad. The noise happened to be so loud that Barcelona manager, Angel Mur, commented that he thought his eardrums were actually going to burst.

It was tradition at the time for both captains to visit the referee before the game but on this occasion, the referee went to Barca’s dressing room, the ref had been handed down a threat to unsettle Barcelona. What was said is unclear and undocumented but it was certainly noted that he didn’t come bearing the kindest of words for the visiting Barcelona players. There are also stories that the Secretary of State entered the dressing room with a gun in his hand in order to frighten Barcelona before the match but the story of the referee has been more widely accepted as the truth.

Barcelona’s goalkeeper, Lluis Miró, was so afraid of being struck by one of the hundreds of coins being thrown that he barely stepped inside his own penalty box. They threw all kinds of objects in an effort to injure or scare the keeper.

By the time the game started, Barcelona had already been informed by security that they would lose and had been called “red separatists” and “dogs” to their faces. They had been antagonised that many of the players wondered whether they should step onto the field at all. After a dodgy first 30 minutes where they lost a man to a ridiculous red card and went 2-0 down, their fears upon walking out onto the field were confirmed and they wished they became disillusioned at the spectacle that was taking place. By the time the half time whistle blew it was 8-0. Barcelona players stopped playing and the game was building up to be the heaviest defeat in El Clasico history.

Just to give you a taste of the kind of control that was Franco was exerting on both football and the media. Juano Antonio Samaranch, a leading fascist journalist, who was a card carrying Francoist party member his entire life who still believed in fairness in sport was banned from writing and never wrote another word for 10 years after he wrote of the injustice that was carried out on the night.

In a dramatic twist of fate, Real Madrid went on to lose the final to Athletic Bilbao and would not win La Liga for another ten years, almost as a form of punishment for what happened on that day in Madrid against Barcelona.

The game has surprisingly little written about it and despite the scoreline, Madrid don’t seem particularly proud of the game and have mentioned it little in their history. Barcelona have probably mentioned it more as their role as the oppressed would have more upside than that of Madrid as the oppressor. Due to the fact that there are no photos and little or no living memory of the event, it will remain a mystery what actually happened but you can safely say that the 3-0 Barcelona win followed by the 11-1 hammering by Madrid was where El Classico really and truly began in the football rivalry that it is today.

Follow Robbie on Twitter, @bobdonadini

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

LuLu Min ( Sport Writer of Myanmar) 6:05 am, 21-Jan-2014

Its the circle of power in soccerpolitic

yakubu alexander 10:20 am, 21-Jan-2014

So El-Classico has always been political all the while. Iam really enlightened as a BARCA fan. I thought as wouldn't had been possible, afterall they were suposed to be 11 players each. Pls create an avenue for us fans to be able to share such stories on facebook.

Mamadee kamara 11:24 am, 23-Jan-2014

I am very much depressed and saddened by this story as a true Barcelona fan. We will continue to share this story on other social networks inorder to expose the tyrannical regime of Madrid at the time.

Robbie 4:17 pm, 25-Jan-2014

I am the writer of this piece and I will continue to write about the reasons El Classico is as fiery as it is today! The next article deals with the di Stefano transfer!

Mustapah ibrahim shehu 4:59 pm, 1-Apr-2014

Madrid are the kings of el-clasico barcelona are the slaves of el-clasico and in the history of football 11-1 is not a joke even it done with a magic that magic is not a small magic it is a very strong magic all what barcelona are doing to madrid is a revenging to me i don't know to some people wow vary nice history

Rohon 10:47 am, 21-Jun-2014

Fucking moron and stupid barcelona fan ..update yourself and check the history again..this is some bullshit history made by a barcelona fan in 2008 in a webforum ..check the archives of famous british 'the guardian' newspapers , history books on el classico.. In spanish 'Real' means royal because Real madrid is loyal to king of spain.During world war II, at first Spain didn't join the war. But general franco was against the king. He was with Hitler and Mussolini, he forced the king to accept defeat and wanted to control the whole spain. Before that,the so called civil war was a part of his great master plan. His favourite club was Atletico Madrid ,bcz at that time it was the football club from Spain Air Force. Real madrid had to throw the word 'Real' to show loyalty to general franco as well as the 'crown' sign from their logo, and also Franco forced to resign the board members of the club at that time so that he could recruit of his own men. Calalians club were not ready to show their loyalty to franco but finally they accepted it. It was real madrid players, fans who didn't accept that. At that time , FC Barcelona had not its own stadium.The match was held in Chamartín Stadium,The Barcelona fans or officials handed out whistles with every ticket purchased in an effort to cause unrest within the Real Madrid squad,The Barcelona fans had whistled the players and booed and were eventually fined for their actions in the 1st leg. It was Real Madrid who was forced to loose in 1st leg. If franco liked Rmd, why they lost in the final with Athletic Bilbao , another catalan club??? why Rmd didn't not win La Liga next ten years?? General Franco donated 5 times to FC Barcelona , gave 2 medal to them, it was general franco who helped to make Camp nou. If Barcelona was right, why Di Stefano didn't protest?? In 1960, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, with no less than four annulled goals, all legal, to Real Madrid by the referee Leafe. No, we will not talk about theft. But it is odd that Madrid gets four annulled goals, in the stadium of its greatest rival in a competition they had 'bought'. FC Barcelona did tax fraud with neymar, messi. They were suspended to transfer players 2014 to 2016. But fifa president Sepp Blatter saved them many times and protected them from many corruptions which was published never.Taking money from Qatar for 2022 world cup host,proved that he is a corrupted man,Eventually , Qatar foundation is FC Barcelona's current sponsor. So. there is a big story behind the scene. Stand before mirror, before blaming others.

Mossi 11:12 pm, 9-Aug-2014

LoooooooL Rohon, u really really are the dumbest of dumbests. u even don't know the difference between CAS and fifa. another madridista, another idiot, no wondering for such stupid comment!

Argument101 8:45 am, 10-Aug-2014

@Mossi man you proved only one thing with your comment towards Rohon, that you have no argument; Rohon presented facts and evidence. you on the other hand called him dumb. and that is the lowest form of defending and argument. with all respect to barca fans you guys should be ashamed this idiot is routing for your club. Hala Madrid...bitch

Mossi 5:13 pm, 11-Aug-2014

@Argument101 hehe facts and evidence? i just mentioned to one piece of his shits/lies to show his comment all is a B.S. dude he says blatter saved barca!!!!!!! wasn't fifa the one who refused barca's appeal and forced barca to refer to CAS? and this piece of his B.S is something that even stupids with a lil of education know!(the reason why i called him the dumbest of dumbs, how the hell he doesn't know this????) when he says a lie about something in 2014, how i can believe what he has said about 70 years ago? i just mentioned to a piece of his lies to show his comment is a big LIE from a madridista!!!!! u madrid PIGS

musab idris 8:20 am, 15-Oct-2014

barcelona the stupid club in this world

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