Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (partially found footage of El Clásico La Liga football match; 1959)

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A crowds form to watch the game via television sets in an electrical store.

Status: Partially Found

On February 15th, 1959, Real Madrid hosted Barcelona for an El Clásico football match as part of the 1958-59 La Liga season. It was the first televised El Clásico encounter, as well as the first football match to be broadcast in Catalan.


El Clásico is the biggest rivalry in Spanish football.[1][2][3][4] Dating back to 1902, the matches have become some of the most viewed annual events, with the games providing intensity due not only to both clubs' success and representation of the two biggest cities in Spain but even on political grounds based upon Catalan and Spanish identities.[1][2] According to Phil Ball of Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football, "they hate each other with an intensity that can truly shock the outsider."[1]

Nevertheless, the match on February 15th, 1959 was generally not referred to as El Clásico by fans back then.[3] Heading into the encounter, the two teams were considered the favourites to win the league title.[5] Nevertheless, Barcelona had gained the upper hand by beating Real Madrid 4-0 at the Estadio del CF Barcelona on 26th October 1958.[6] In the first half of the second game at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, little of note occurred, with some accounts deeming it to be "one of the dullest, most uneventful games that Barça and Madrid ever played."[7][3] But in the second half, the visitors were able to take the lead thanks to a goal from Jesús Herrera.[3][7][2]

This proved to be the only goal of the game, enabling Los Blancos to claim victory.[3][7][4][2] Despite the win, Real Madrid could not prevent Barcelona from claiming its first title in seven years, the latter topping the league with 51 points compared to Real's 47.[2][4][3][5]

TVE Broadcast

While it was not the first football match to be televised in Spain, as Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Racing Santander on 24th October 1954 was broadcast by TVE, the match would make its own television history.[8] Not only was it the first televised El Clásico, but it also became the first to be aired in Catalan.[9][4][8][3][2] This arose as TVE was looking to expand its television network across Spain, establishing a broadcasting centre in Zaragoza and linking up with the Eurovision network to achieve this objective.[9]

Nevertheless, the television audience remained small due to the expense of television sets back in the 1950s.[3] However, the announcement that the upcoming Real Madrid-Barcelona encounter was to be broadcast throughout Catalan led to its population flocking to buy televisions across the region.[4][9][3][2][8] Shops within the city sold out of a combined total of around 6,000 units, with many other fans resorting to watching the game via unsold sets located within electrical stores, as well as in bars and restaurants.[10][4][9][3][8] Initially, the broadcast suffered technical issues that prevented the first 45 minutes from being aired.[3] However, the second half was fully broadcast live, and although Spanish radio pioneer Miguel Urs noted issues with the direction and filming of the match, the broadcast was a success, paving the way for future El Clásico airings.[9][4]


With matches such as TVE's broadcast of the 1957 European Cup having been recorded,[8][9] it is likely this match received the same process. But as of the present day, the only available footage of the game is a two-minute newsreel from Filmoteca Española. This is also available on Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) Play, RTVE being the parent company of TVE. While RTVE has kept an archive of programs broadcast on TVE1 and TVE2, its collection dates back only to the 1960s, making it somewhat unlikely the broadcast would be accessible from it.[11]



Filmoteca Española newsreel of the match.

See Also

External Link