Why are Real Madrid wearing black and Barcelona wearing yellow kits for El Clasico?

El Clasico is one of the most recognizable matches in world football, if not the most. There are few match ups that can compete with Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. Tea Superclassic, River Plate vs. Boca Juniors, might match the intensity of pressure. The Manchester Derby might match the global size of the audience. The Champions League final might match the stakes of the game, but none of these tie all three aspects together quite like El Clasico.

For all the hype, the rivalry rarely fails to deliver. As long as it has existed, it has been the setting of football’s biggest rivalries. Most recently: Guardiola vs. Mourinho; Messi vs. Cristiano. It was a big enough game that even these clashes of personality only added to the narrative, rather than overwhelming it. Over the years, time and time again El Clasico has seen moments that seemed impossible encapsulated in time.

A key aspect of the storied heritage of the match is the kits that both sides sport. Whether at home or away, Real Madrid always wear their white kit, and Barcelona always sport their red and blue, but that’s changing this year. As the teams take to the field on Sunday night, they’ll both be wearing something different.

MORE: When is Barcelona vs. Real Madrid? Date, time, TV and streaming for next Clasico in La Liga

Real Madrid will be wearing black, rather than white, and Barcelona will be wearing yellow with red, rather than their historic red and blue. The worldwide exposure of the popular rivalry represents a business opportunity as well as a chance to make a fashion statement.

Why Real Madrid are wearing black for El Clasico

Real Madrid have released a kit to commemorate the club’s 120th anniversary. The all black kit is a far cry from the white outfit they usually wear, with just white details on the kit as contrast.

The kit was designed by Yohji Yamamoto, a long time collaborator with Adidas, who has a history working on Real Madrid kits. The black kit for outfield players will be complemented by a pink kit for the Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Why Barcelona are wearing yellow for El Clasico

In a departure from the norm, Barcelona will be wearing their third kit for their trip to Madrid. The yellow kit, with red details, carries the colors of the Senyera, the flag of the Catalan region. The decision to wear the third kit is reportedly at the request of club president Joan Laporta.

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While there’s no official line on why Barcelona are wearing the kit, it’s an interesting choice. For much of Spain’s history, Barcelona has been seen as an important part of Catalan culture, and the Catalan independence movement has always had strong ties with the club. On the flip side, Real Madrid have always been seen as a club with a strong Spanish identity and games between the two clubs have often been set against the decades long backdrop of Catalan independence vying with one singular identity for all of Spain.

It could be that Joan Laporta is making a political statement as his side travels to Madrid, or he might just like the yellow and red.

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