Rabat - Millions of Moroccans will visit coffee shops and tune their television sets to the beIN sports channel this evening to watch the 172nd edition of El Clasico - the twice yearly football game that pits Real Madrid against the Football Club of Barcelona.
Rabat – Millions of Moroccans will visit coffee shops and tune their television sets to the beIN sports channel this evening to watch the 172nd edition of El Clasico – the twice yearly football game that pits Real Madrid against the Football Club of Barcelona.
The match – which will be played in Barcelona this time around – is also known as the “biggest football club game in the world.”
The game will start at 7:30 p.m. local Moroccan time, but is expected to begin bringing football enthusiasts to their favorite viewing venue as early as 5:30 p.m. so they can secure a good view of the television screen for themselves.
The owner of a local coffee shop in Sale said he expects business to boom tonight, as mainly young men and women will flood his shop to watch the game with their friends and order drinks before, after, and throughout the 90 minute event. He said he expects to make the equivalent of around a week’s worth of income during the four hours of El Clasico-related traffic to his shop tonight.
The Moroccan equivalent of El Clasico – played between Raja Club Athletic and Wydad Club Athletic – draws a similar number of customers, the shop owner said.
“Supporters of both teams drink beverages and enjoy the game together, unlike what happens in the stadiums nowadays,” he said, referring to an incident after a football game in Casablanca last month during which fans from opposing teams fought each other and caused the deaths of two Moroccans and the injury of over 50 others.
Ashraf, a 27-year-old lifelong supporter of Barcelona, said he first began following the team during a 1999 edition of El-Clasico that Barcelona won 3-0.
“I really like the way Barca’s players, especially Revaldo Saviola, handled the ball during that game,” he said. “I know Barca is going to win 3-0 tonight as well. I feel it – especially because it is a home game for them.
Fans of Real Madrid said they had a similar feeling that their team would win.