Real Madrid and Barcelona have been fierce rivals on the football pitch for decades, but their rivalry is now extending off the field. Real Madrid have released a video that seeks to outline Barcelona’s alleged links with former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, in response to comments made by Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
The four-minute video was aired on Madrid TV. It was later shared on social media, highlighting Barcelona’s connections with Franco through archive footage and text. Madrid asserts that Barcelona offered him three medals. Made him an honorary club member, and enjoyed more on-field success during his fascist regime.
Franco and Real Madrid
Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist for nearly four decades, from 1939 until his death in 1975. During his rule, he used football as a tool for propaganda and control. Franco was a big supporter of Real Madrid, and the club enjoyed success during his regime. Franco also used the Spanish national team to promote his nationalist agenda and to project Spain’s image abroad.
Real Madrid themselves have been accused of having links to Franco. It is said that the dictator favored Real Madrid and used his influence to help them on the field. There are also claims that Franco used the club to promote his nationalist agenda, and that Real Madrid’s success during his regime was partly due to his support.
In response to Real Madrid’s video that accused Barcelona of having connections with Francisco Franco. The government of Catalonia has requested that the video be taken down as it is seen as distorting history. The Catalonian government described it as “offensive, irresponsibility and insulting. After which The National Basketball league in Spain apologized for retweeting Madrid’s video last night. They say it happened due to “reasons beyond our control” and have also issued an apology to Barcelona
The recent tensions between Barcelona and Madrid have been sparked by the ongoing investigation into Barcelona’s payments to Negreira. Real Madrid announced that they planned to testify against Barcelona in the investigation. Which led to Laporta cancelling the customary lunch between the directors of both clubs before every Clasico. The release of the video by Real Madrid, in which they seek to link Barcelona with Franco, is seen as another escalation of the ongoing feud between the two clubs.