The Madrid derby poses a challenge to El Clásico

I still don't think we can gauge the positive impact of those two all-Madrid Champions League finals. For many, the fact that both sides from the same city faced off for the first time ever (and again just two years later) in football's elite competition was by the by. But for those trying to ensure LaLiga moves towards excellence in every sense, these two games were of huge significance. Personally, I used to notice how the press and fans all over Europe were becoming increasingly more interested in the Madrid derby and how Madrid was being dubbed the "the football capital" outside of Spain. Yet one thing that has almost completely convinced me of its growing importance is the fact that it is now part of a collective football mentality.  

Yesterday I received a call from Nathalie Boy de la Tour, the recently elected president of the French League (LFP) and Didier Quillot, the chief executive of the same organisation. This new management team is currently visiting a number of countries, meeting people in European football in search of ways to improve the French league. We met for a chat and I know they were welcomed by Florentino Pérez a short time before. Normally, they would have chosen El Clásico on 23 April to come to Madrid, but this time they selected the derby in the Spanish capital. Today they will be at the Bernabéu, further proof of the growing esteem of the star attraction in Madrid's footballing calendar.