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Madrid-Barça: 95-51-95

And so it is, 95-51-95. After 241 Clásicos played since 1902, both teams have recorded exactly 95 wins each, with 51 games ending in draws. The last time the sides were level on number of victories in the head to head was in 1932, a fact which adds more even more spice to a 242nd tie that hardly needed it.

Barcelona won the first meeting between the two sides in the Cup in Madrid in 1902 (the year Madrid was founded, three years after its rival). The last meeting between them, again a Cup game in Madrid, was also won by the Blaugrana on Wednesday.

Between that first game in 1902 and the last in 2019, there extends a long and beautiful history that has not only served as the catalyst for the growth of Spanish football, but also many other sports in the country. It has been a long time since these two super clubs established a second front in basketball, in which they have invested generously. Around them grew the quinielas (the Spanish version of the betting pools), which has acted as a great source of funding for all sports.

Whether we like it or not, the two clubs have long represented two political factions of the Spanish state: Madrid, the centrist ideals; Barcelona, the federalist aspirations. Of course no one ever thought that these two conflicting views would be ever resolved on the football pitch. But the fact the two clubs are tied – after so many meetings in cups, leagues and European competitions over 117 years – serves as an interesting metaphor.