By far the most important regular fixture on the city of Barcelona’s sporting calendar, the LaLiga Barcelona derby brings together FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona in a game that showcases enormous local pride while showcasing the iconic city. in the world.
The rivalry between the two clubs dates back to the beginnings of organized football in the city, three decades before La Liga was founded.
There have also been derbies played over the years in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup, the Copa Catalonia and the now defunct Fairs Cup.
While 26-time La Liga winners Barcelona have often come out on top, Espanyol are still keen to upset their historically better-performing neighbors.
The two clubs had similar but ultimately different origins at the turn of the 20th century. Barcelona was founded by Swiss student Hans Gamper in November 1899, with many founding members from the city’s cosmopolitan expatriate community.
Espanyol was created the following October, with Angel Rodriguez Ruiz, an engineering student of local origin, as president, and the team composed mainly of migrant workers from other Spanish regions such as Andalusia, Extremadura, Galicia and even Madrid.
The first derby soon took place, on December 23, 1900, a goalless draw played at the now-defunct stadium of the Camp de Hôtel Casanovas.
The rivalry was well established at the start of La Liga in 1929. Both clubs were founding members and Barca’s 5-4 victory in that first season remains the most successful Catalan derby of all time.
The game has been played in La Liga every year since, with the exception of the five seasons Espanyol spent in the second division. Barca’s biggest win came early, a 5-0 win in 1933/34, while older Espanyol fans will still remember their team’s 6-0 record of success in the 1950 La Liga campaign. / 51.
A special moment for the city came in 1957 when Barca and Espanyol met in their only Copa del Rey final to date. Barca won 1-0 at Estadio de Montjuic, the stadium which then served as the home ground for Espanyol from 1997 to 2009.
The sides also met in the 2006/07 Spanish Super Cup, when Barca were LaLiga champions and holders of the Espanyol Copa del Rey, with the Camp Nou side winning 4-0 on aggregate.
Former Barca playmaker and current coach Xavi Hernandez is the player with the most Catalan derby matches (32), while former captain Lionel Messi has the most La Liga goals with 22 goals, including two rounds hat and four goals. “Poker” in 2011/12.
Espanyol’s top scorer against his city neighbors is Rafael Marañón, with nine between 1974-1983, while Raul Tamudo’s famous derby equalizer “Tamudazo” in 2007 – which cost Barcelona the La Liga title – secured his place in the history of the match.
Many players have represented both sides of the City Division, dating back to legendary 1930s goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, who was born in the city and now honored with the LaLiga Best Goalkeeper award every season.
Ladislao Kubala, Jordi Cruyff, Ivan de la Peña, Philippe Coutinho and former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde have also worn both “Blaugrana” and “Blanquiazul”.