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El Derbi Barceloní – The History Behind the Barcelona Derby

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Today soccer fans will witness one of the most known local derbies; between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona. It will be the 153rd league game featuring these two teams, the most between any Spanish local rival matches.

Political background
Like many Spanish rivalries this one was also fueled by political differences. Espayol was founded by a Spanish-only fan base and on the other side Barca had more international make-up. The Blanc-i-blaus were also granted royal patronage and that is why they have the crown in the club logo.

During Franco's years Espanyol were viewed by Catalan people as the club that supported the dictator and the central authority, a regime that was openly opposed by FC Barcelona and its supporters. During the Spanish Civil War an Espanyol supporter group would joined the fascists to show their approval of Franco.

In recent years the match-up between the two sides lost most of its political influence, as Espanyol translated its name and anthem from Spanish to Catalan. This derby is far more important to Espanyol fans as they regard Barcelona as their biggest rivals, while Barca's main rival is Real Madrid.

Statistical history
There are quite a few rivalries in La Liga and most of them are pretty close when looking at win percentage but this one is the most one-sided. Barcelona has won 55.26% of games, meaning they were victorious in 84 of them and have lost only 34 (22.37%). The remaining 34 games ended without a winner. Barca owns the better goal difference, at +101.

El derbi barcelonés was played every season except during three seasons in which the league was canceled due to the civil war and in the four years when Espanyol played in the Spanish Segunda division. Every season when they faced each other two games were played but in the 1986/87 season they squared off in four because of a changed league format that lasted only one season.

Player transfers between the two teams have been rare; in fact they have been rarer than transfers between Barcelona and Real Madrid as there have been only fifteen players that put on jerseys of both Catalan clubs.

Derby records
Most wins:

  • Barcelona (84)

Highest Barcelona home win:

  • 5 - 0 (5 times) last in 1992/93 season

Highest Espanyol home win:

  • 6 - 0 in 1950/51 season

Highest Barcelona away win:

  • 0 - 5 (2 times) last in 1991/92 season

Highest Espanyol away win:

  • 1 - 4 in 1953/54 season

Highest scoring game

  • 9 goals; FC Barcelona 5 - 4 RCD Espanyol

Longest wining streaks

  • 7 games; Barcelona (1958-61)
  • 4 games; Espanyol (1940-42)

Conclusion
Espanyol has been a thorn in Barcelona's side in the last four years as they have taken very important points from them. Barca has only won two of the last eight games while also losing two. With Real Madrid close behind, Blaugrana will have to find a way to improve on their record against the fellow Catalans to assure themselves of ending the calendar year in first place.