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Monday, June 3, 2024

The tales behind Barcelona’s and Actual Madrid’s membership anthems

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MADRID — It’s one among Spanish soccer’s most spine-tingling experiences. The stadium is filling up, followers excitedly taking their seats forward of the sport. The air buzzes with anticipation because the groups put together to take to the pitch. Scarves are held aloft; conventional snacks like pipas (sunflower seeds,) are momentarily put aside. And from the audio system comes a sound that captures the custom and color of LaLiga like no different: the membership himno, or anthem.

The gang joins in, 1000’s of voices singing alongside on the high of their lungs to the crackly, decades-old recording. It is an emotional second, the lyrics talking of the membership’s historical past, its values, its identification.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Copa del Rey, extra (U.S.)

Whether or not it is Actual Madrid‘s “Hala Madrid” or Barcelona‘s “Cant del Barca,” Sevilla‘s “Himno del Centenario” or Valencia‘s “Amunt Valencia,” the entire stadium singing alongside — usually a capella when the music drops out — may simply be the unforgettable spotlight of your soccer journey to Spain.

At Spotify Camp Nou on Wednesday, moments earlier than Barcelona’s El Clasico Copa del Rey semifinal second leg with Actual Madrid (stream stay on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET) kicks off — and once more at full-time — will probably be the membership’s “Cant del Barca” that rings out across the huge, 95,877-capacity area. “The entire stadium cheers loudly,” the lyrics start. And it’ll.

The track sounds prefer it’s been round perpetually — maybe because the membership’s basis in 1899 — nevertheless it is not as outdated as you may assume. “The present himno is from 1974,” Carles Santacana Torres, professor of up to date historical past on the College of Barcelona — and a Barca fan — tells ESPN. “It was commissioned by the then-board for the membership’s seventy fifth anniversary nevertheless it ended up turning into the membership’s anthem, not only for these celebrations, however to the current day. Subsequent yr will probably be 50 years outdated.”

The writers Josep Maria Espinas and Jaume Picas have been tasked with arising with the Catalan lyrics, whereas the music — after a public competitors — was written by composer Manuel Valls.

“Cant del Barca” lyrics:

The entire stadium cheers loudly,
We are the blue and maroon supporters.
Irrespective of the place we come from, be it south or north,
Now all of us agree, all of us agree, one flag unites us as brothers.
Blue-maroon within the wind, a valiant cry,
Now we have a reputation that everybody is aware of: Barca, Barca, Barca!
Gamers, supporters, united all of us are robust.
A few years of help, we have cheered many objectives
And we have now proven, we have now proven, that no-one can break us.
Blue-maroon within the wind, a valiant cry,
Now we have a reputation that everybody is aware of: Barca, Barca, Barca!

“They got a whole lot of freedom with the lyrics,” Santacana says. “It is a lyric that is nonetheless legitimate at this time in 2023, nevertheless it’s additionally in regards to the second wherein it was created. There is a line which says ‘Irrespective of the place we come from, the south or the north.’

“Within the Catalonia of 1974, folks weren’t fascinated by a worldwide, common membership like at this time. It was a time when there was a lot of migration from Andalusia and Castilla to Catalonia. The writers have been speaking about Barca as a membership of social integration; a membership that wasn’t only for folks with generations of Catalan ancestry. It was additionally for these arriving in Catalonia. That was essential in that second.”

The “Cant del Barca” was first carried out by a pitchside choir at a pleasant organised for the membership’s seventy fifth anniversary between Barcelona and the East Germany nationwide group. Earlier than lengthy, it was an everyday characteristic at Camp Nou.

“The board realised the influence it was having,” Santacana provides. “Barcelona had different himnos — there was one in 1910, one other in 1923, and one other was written when Camp Nou was inaugurated in 1957 — however they did not have the identical reputation. By the Nineteen Seventies, it was apparent that there wasn’t a track which represented the membership. The himno got here on the proper time, it stuffed a void … It is a track for all of the followers. You establish with it. It refers back to the union between gamers and followers. It is about custom, the objectives we have celebrated collectively. You’re feeling you are a part of a bunch, a part of a household.”


Simply as Barcelona have had a number of himnos all through their historical past, Actual Madrid have a number of membership anthems too. The distinction is that every one three of Madrid’s stay in use to today.

The unique — “¡Hala Madrid!” or “Come on Madrid!” — was commissioned in 1952 by then-club president Santiago Bernabeu, written by composer Indalecio Cisneros and recorded by common singer Jose de Aguilar. Its lyrics communicate of a “clear, white flag that does not tarnish” and a facet made up of “veterans and novices” — very apt for the membership’s 2022-23 midfield of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga — describing the group as a “noble and warlike champion.”

Some 20 years later, Aguilar switched sides to report the anthem of Actual’s rivals Atletico Madrid. Its 1974 lyrics nonetheless communicate nostalgically of “going to the Manzanares [river,] to the Vicente Calderon stadium” regardless of Atletico’s cross-city transfer to the Metropolitano in 2017.

Actual Madrid’s second himno, the “Himno del Centenario,” was commissioned for the membership’s one hundredth birthday in 2002. Written by Eighties Spanish popstar Jose Maria Cano and sung by opera singer Placido Domingo it additionally, confusingly sufficient, options the repeated chorus “¡Hala Madrid!”

However why have two membership anthems when you may have three? Madrid’s third was launched forward of their tenth, epic European Cup win in 2014. “Hala Madrid … y nada mas” or “Come on Madrid … and nothing extra” options lyrics by journalist and author Manuel Jabois.

The music was composed by Moroccan producer and songwriter RedOne, actual identify Nadir Khayat, who has an eclectic CV: he beforehand labored with Girl Gaga and Nicki Minaj, and now boasts the intriguing job title of “Inventive Leisure Govt” at FIFA.

“My thought was that your complete Santiago Bernabeu would come collectively to sing,” RedOne informed El Confidencial in 2014. “I used to be a bit nervous to see how the followers would react. I do know what I am doing, I’ve written quite a bit [of songs] however the Madrid crowd may be very completely different … After I’m on the stadium [and hear the song] I burst into tears. It’s extremely emotional.”

“Hala Madrid… y nada mas” lyrics:

The historical past you’ve got made, the historical past you will make
As a result of no-one can resist your will to win
The celebs are popping out, my outdated Chamartin
From far and close to, you’ve got introduced us right here
I put on your shirt near my coronary heart
The times that you just play are all the pieces to me
‘The Arrow’ [Alfredo Di Stefano] is operating
My Madrid are on the assault
I’m battle, I’m magnificence,
A cry that I learnt
Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Hala Madrid,
And nothing extra, and nothing extra,
Hala Madrid.

The track was recorded forward of the 2014 Champions League ultimate in Lisbon — wherein Actual beat Atletico 4-1 after further time — and launched afterward, topping the Spanish charts. Its accompanying music video options your complete Madrid squad as Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and the remaining head to the studio to participate within the track’s recording. No costume code was imposed: Modric is carrying a cardigan; supervisor Carlo Ancelotti sports activities a youthful leather-based jacket.

“They have been all actually good, however Jese, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Carlo [Ancelotti] have been sensational,” RedOne informed Libero journal, although Gareth Bale‘s appreciation of the lyrical subtleties is unclear.

All three himnos are performed on the Bernabeu on matchdays, and for a lot of youthful followers, the latest 2014 version is essentially the most significant.


Actual Madrid and Barcelona may win LaLiga most seasons, however the battle for Spanish soccer’s most interesting anthem isn’t practically so clear-cut. The 2 Seville giants, Sevilla and Actual Betis, are among the many contenders.

Sevilla’s “Himno del Centenario”, written by flamenco popstar El Arrebato — who seems to mannequin his look on Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies — has a case for being essentially the most atmospheric soccer track, wherever.

The himno of Sevilla’s native rivals Betis, generally known as “Balas de canon” or “Cannonballs,” is not far behind when bellowed by 60,000 followers at their Benito Villamarin stadium.

In March this yr, Athletic Membership celebrated the fortieth anniversary of their stirring membership anthem, which the house followers sing to herald the group because the “pleasure of the Basque nation” within the area’s native language earlier than each match at Bilbao’s San Mames.

And Elche could be rock-bottom of LaLiga and heading for relegation with simply two wins in 27 video games this season, but when it is any comfort to their long-suffering followers, their himno is one among Spain’s finest.

As a result of whereas profitable on the pitch is what issues, strolling away from the stadium whistling a track that might be caught inside your head for days afterward makes a victory even sweeter and a loss just a bit extra bearable.



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