This second post in our Versus series takes a look at the statistical history of all-Spanish encounters in European club competition. While our German edition showed that inter-Bundesliga European encounters only started from 1972, in Spain the tradition of La Liga clubs being drawn against each other dates way back to 1957.
Regular ties were thrown up during the 1960s thanks to Spanish dominance of the old Fairs Cup and similar pairings remain a common occurrence in the modern-day Champions League. From the seven decades of European club football, only the 1980s didn’t see an all-Spanish European tie played.
Fourteen Spanish teams have been involved in all-Liga European matches, including play-offs and one-off Finals. Those sides have played 45 games that include no fewer than six European Finals – one Champions League, three in the Fairs Cup and one each in the UEFA Cup and Europa League. Real Madrid top the inter-Spanish table with Deportivo La Coruna not having played enough games to get a viable statistical representation. Madrid’s 2-0 home defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final of 2011 was the first game they had lost to a fellow Spanish team for 50 years, and only their third defeat overall. Real Madrid have also recorded the biggest individual win (8-0 v Sevilla) and boast the best goal difference.
Somewhat surprising is Barcelona’s rather modest record. One club in particular represents a bête noire to the Catalans with Valencia having won all three of their two-legged ties and scoring 17 goals in the process. Such is the way of these things, for all their fine record against Barcelona, Valencia has not won a single game against any other Spanish opponent.