Each Real Madrid v Barcelona Clasico is about more than just football, with both superclubs having deep roots within Spanish and Catalan society. But this week’s two Clasicos in four days have even wider resonance than usual, given the current mix of legal and political issues directly and indirectly involving both clubs.
Spain is to hold a special Cabinet meeting at the weekend to activate measures to take control of Catalonia's semi-autonomous powers after the region's leader threatened to explicitly declare independence if no talks were offered.
Catalonia's leader has called for dialogue with Spain and a meeting with the country's prime minister, complying with a Monday deadline to respond to a request from the central government to state explicitly whether he had declared independence.
Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country's national day today, marching through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and shouting "I am Spanish".
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says he is ready to stand down from Spain duty if he is deemed a "problem" by national team coach Julen Lopetegui or the Spanish Football Federation as a result of his support for Catalan independence.