Published on November 19, 2015  

On Saturday November 21, the eyes of the world will descend on an area of grass in the Spanish capital measuring no more than 105m x 68m.

Some 400 million of us will tune in to catch a glimpse of an event being played out on this illustrious piece of Madrid real estate, with it possible that viewing figures could surge well past that mark.

A global audience from upwards of 56 countries, stretching to all corners of the globe, will be captivated by the performance of just 22 men.

Their efforts will bring joy to many, agony to many more, and spark debate that will rage long after they have packed their bags and headed for home.

We are, of course, talking about El Clasico.

Meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona are now about much more than points, bragging rights and a more favourable standing within La Liga betting markets that forever struggle to split the title credentials of Spain’s fiercest rivals.

Sport, and particularly soccer, is now big business, and that business does not get any bigger than this.

We are dealing with the greatest money-making franchises on the planet, with not only the clubs themselves now seen as brands, but also those who represent them.

You do not need to be a fanatic to have heard of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with two men locked in an eternal battle to be considered the best at what they do now boasting profiles which transcend their chosen profession.

Real’s Ronaldo and Barca’s Messi are an advertiser’s dream, and the cash they generate is simply mind-blowing – shifting replica shirts are a rate rarely seen before, at least not since David Beckham was in his pomp.

Their faces are used to promote just about every product imaginable, and it is this revenue which has helped them to line their own pockets to the tune of many millions of dollars and their respective employers to occupy the top two spots on Forbes’ run down of the richest clubs in soccer.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also the most successful teams in Europe when it comes to the collection of major silverware, with trophies demanded rather than longed for, while their respective followings around the world are unmatched.

To use Twitter followers as some sort of a guide, Real have 17.5m, Barca 16.2m, while the likes of Manchester United can muster only 6.3m, the New York Yankees 1.5m and the Dallas Cowboys 1.4m.

They operate, quite simply, in a league of their own.

If their next outing generates anything like the interest expected in it, they will once again smash the viewing figures of other major events out of the park.

The 2015 Super Bowl was watched by some 114.4m people, the NBA finals averaged 19.9m and the MLB World Series 14.7m – all not even close.

The World Cup final and meetings between Manchester United and Liverpool are the only events which can lay claim to being bigger than El Clasico, but they are broadcast in many more countries and often struggle to match the sparkle and intrigue that Spain’s superpowers provide on and off the field.

by  bfcdaz