OverviewThese are two giants of the Spanish game that always stay true to their club values. Barcelona teams continually follow the footballing philosophy of Johan Cruyff, while Athletic Bilbao’s playing staff consists only of players from the Basque region.
The two sides have met in the Athletic-Barcelona clásico in every La Liga season since 1928/29. Tensions have often been high, and none more so than in 1983. A serious challenge from Bilbao’s Andoni Goikoetxea on Diego Maradona left the Argentinean out for months. The Bilbao man was only awarded a yellow card but was later handed a six match ban (reduced from 18) – he was nicknamed the Butcher of Bilbao. The Athletic bus was stoned as it left the stadium. In recent seasons, it’s not been quite as high tempered, but it still simmers.
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