FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have been clashing for bragging rights in Spain for more than 100 years. But, when the two teams take to the pitch once again in La Liga action this Sunday (Oct. 24), there will be a couple of new twists on the old rivalry.
La Liga has introduced special “ElClásico” branding for the game, with a stylized wordmark logo and a colour scheme of black, grey, cream and orange — dutifully avoiding any colours traditionally associated with either team.
The aim of the identity for the game is to “[give] one of the most iconic and popular sporting showdowns on the planet a unique and highly recognisable visual identity,” according to the La Liga website.
“The branding project’s aim is to reflect the DNA of what this legendary encounter symbolises: rivalry, strength, passion, technology, innovation, dynamism, entertainment and globality.”
Part of the “ElClásico” branding is a special icon that will be used in between the club names in place of the usual “vs.” and “represents rivalry, strength, and confrontation, evoking the competitive spirit of both teams.”
The new “ElClásico” logo will also feature on a special edition Puma match ball created just for the fixture. The bright yellow ball with blue accents is a variation on the Puma Accelerate ball used in other La Liga matches this season.
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona first squared off in the 1902 Copa de la Coronacion, according to the Evening Standard; they first faced each other in league competition in 1929. Overall, including exhibition matches, the teams have met 279 times: Barça has won 115 games, Real has won 102 games (including the most recent meeting in April 2021), and there have been 62 draws.
The La Liga announcement also mentions possible brand identities for other major Spanish rivalries and derbies, including El Gran Derbi (Real Betis v Sevilla), El Derbi de Madrid (Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid), and El Derbi Vasco (Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao).
Feature photo courtesy Footy Headlines