La Liga: Title celebrations in Spain are out of the ordinary

Real Madrid players celebrate

History was made on Sunday in Spain. Real Madrid scaled the summit of La Liga, or the Spanish Primera Division for the 33rd time. This time after a wait of 5 seasons. It was the Castillian side’s first league title since the 2011-12 season under Jose Mourinho. You can imagine how long the men in white had waited for that night. Out of the first team squad of twenty-four players, only four, namely Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo were there when the side last achieved the feat.

When Real Madrid make the news, we can be sure that their eternal rivals – a certain club from Catalonia – will also be there to see to it. And when Real Madrid win something like that, its immediate effect can be seen on FC Barcelona.

Whether it’s Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, you can be sure of one thing – whenever either of the clubs wins something, there is a mass celebration in their respective cities.

It is a tradition in Madrid, that whenever the team brings home some silverware, the entire city celebrates in the colours of Spain, Red, and Yellow along with Madrid’s white. And so it was evident last night. The team touched down in Madrid at 2 am and still was greeted by supporters in thousands. On the other hand, whenever Barcelona win a trophy, most of the Catalonian region celebrates in the colours of “Catalunya”, a multitude of Red and yellow, with a hint of blue.


Barcelona players celebrate

This difference dates back to the time of the Spanish civil war. When General Franco took the throne, he gave the title of “Real” or “Royal” to a few clubs including Madrid. It was the time when the Catalonian region was oppressed and it became difficult for the locals to express themselves, with their team’s matches being the only places where they could express themselves freely. That’s how Barcelona became “Mes Que Un Club” or “More than a club”. It was then, that Real Madrid came to be seen as a “Castillian” side and FC Barcelona became Catalonia’s pride.

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  • The Madrid side have a habit of celebrating all their victories at the Cibeles Plaza, and that tradition dates back to 1986, when former Real Madrid player Emilio Butragueno, scored a poker against Denmark in the world cup. And it has been a tradition ever since.
  • The plaza has been adopted by Real Madrid and the statue at the fountain can always be seen draped in a white scarf. Like last night’s spoils, the captain of the Los Blancos climbs up and ties a scarf to the statue.
  • The tradition grew to so much extent, that the cross-town rivals, Atletico Madrid; started celebrating their achievements at the Neptune Fountain nearby.
  • Barcelona celebrates their achievements at the Canaletes fountain. Rumour has it that whoever drinks from the fountain comes back to Barcelona again. Historically, the fountain has served as a place where Barca fans come to celebrate, with the earliest known cheers ranging to 1930s.
  • During the ‘30s, the office of the local daily “La Rambla” had its office near the fountain, and fans, more commonly known as “Cules” would gather around for the latest results. The gathering turned into celebrations and the rest is history. Today, the fountain is more commonly referred to as the “Epicentre of Celebrations”.


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