The Derbi Barceloní is played between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. Both clubs are located in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. Their stadiums are 8.4 kilometres apart. It is also known as the Barcelonian Derby.
The long history between the two Catalan teams dates three decades before the Spanish top-flight founded. While Barcelona were always the oppressed and the embodiment of rebellion. Espanyol very much the opposite with their vague compliance to the central authority.
Espanyol fans have a common feeling that their club is more Catalan. This is mainly because the founder of RCD Espanyol was Angel Rodriguez, a proud Catalan. Whereas FC Barcelona was founded by a Swiss, Joan Gamper. Espanyol’s blue and white colours come from Roger de Lluria, an important former Catalan soldier. Barca wears the same colours as Basel, a Swiss club.
The municipalities of Catalonia promoted a campaign to request Statute of Autonomy from the Spanish Hierarchy in 1918. FC Barcelona joined the request. RCD Espanyol were dissociated from the claim.
On numerous occasions RCD Espanyol have complained about unfavourable treatment. They accused public media including TV3 of favouring Barcelona. They term this as offensive.
The derby has always been more relevant to Espanyol supporters than Barcelona. This is due to the difference in objectives. If one is day, the other is night. The two clubs are completely opposite.
A disturbing banner at RCDE Stadium in 2016 read: ‘Shakira belongs to everyone.’ It aimied a rather personal dig at Gerard Piqué and his family. Who could forget former Espanyol goalkeeper Pau López stamping on Messi’s leg. And Frank Rijkaard breaking the bench following his 3–1 defeat to Ernesto Valverde’s Espanyol.
In early 2018, Gerard Pique celebrated by putting a finger on his lips after equalising. It was at the RCDE Stadium. He perhaps wanted to send a message to the Espanyol fans. They constantly booed him throughout the match.
HISTORY OF MATCHES
The first game was on 23rd December, 1900 and it ended in a goalless draw. It was played at the now gone Camp de l’Hotel Casanovas stadium. Barcelona were always the bigger, more successful and far richer of the two. Form and pedigree rarely played a big part in the outcome of their clashes.
This is the most played local derby in the history of La Liga. FC Barcelona has been overwhelmingly dominant. Espanyol have finished above their bitter rivals only 4 times in 84 years.
In 1996, Barcelona defeated Espanyol in the Copa Del Rey Semi Finals. They eventually lost the Final to Atletico Madrid. In 2000, Barcelona lost to Atletico in the Semis and complained of fixture congestion. Espanyol defeated both the Madrid Clubs en route to glory. The Pericos won the Cup again in 2006. But they lost the Spanish Super Cup Final 4-0 to Barcelona.
Espanyol denied Barcelona the 2006/07 La Liga Title. They drew 2-2 on the penultimate matchday, thus allowing Real Madrid win the league. It became popular to refer that event as ‘Tamudazo’. Named after Raul Tamudo, the player who helped Espanyol achieve the draw.
Espanyol also defeated Barcelona 2-1 at the Camp Nou in the 2008/09 season. Thus became the first team to beat them in their treble winning season.
To this day, the highest scoring result is the 5-4 victory that Barcelona won in 1929. By then the derby was already well-established on the footballing stage.
DERBI BARCELONĺ 2020
Currently Barcelona sits on the 2nd position in the league. They trail leaders Real Madrid by 4 points with 4 matches to go. Espanyol, on the other hand, lie at the foot of the table at 20th. A defeat in the derby would confirm Espanyol’s relegation to the Segunda Division. Although it is unlikely for Barcelona to catch Real Madrid, they will still love to relegate their city rivals. It’s the opposite for Espanyol. They would have gone down to any other team bar Barcelona.
HEAD TO HEAD AND INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Total Matches: 211
Barcelona Wins: 123
Espanyol Wins: 44
Goals Scored: Barcelona 406-225 Espanyol
Most appearances: Lionel Messi (34)
Best Goal scorer: Lionel Messi (25)
Most Assists: Lionel Messi (11)
Player with highest number of Hat-tricks: Lionel Messi (3)
26 Players have played for both clubs. This includes Laszlo Kubala, Ernesto Valverde, Jordi Cruyff and Philippe Coutinho.