depends on the weight of football in people’s lives. Bill Shankly, a famous British football player, once left a famous saying: “football is not about life and death, it is higher than life and death.” Shankly’s most brilliant football career was in Britain in the 1960s. I wonder if he thought that football has always been inextricably linked with politics, and once such politics belongs to a dictator, then football will really be about life and death. From, Franco, to the military government of Argentina, to Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Stalin: the exiled Moscow Central Army

Stalin was not a real football fan, and he lost his beloved son Vasili who loved football in World War II, which made Stalin even less interested in football, but football, as a collective competitive event, inevitably became a victim under his autocratic ideology.




after World War II, the Soviet Union was waiting for prosperity. It was not until the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games that the mysterious Soviet national football team appeared in the international competition for the first time. At that Olympic Games, the Soviet Union went all the way to the semi-finals, while their opponent in the semi-finals was Yugoslavia.

many people knew the international situation at that time. Yugoslavia under Tito was not willing to obey the orders of the so-called big brother of the Soviet Union at that time. Therefore, in this game, there are more political conflicts. In that game, the Soviet team soon fell behind the opponent by 1-5. At that time, many people thought that the Soviet team was about to be eliminated. However, when the live announcer in Finland said, “don’t underestimate the strength of the Russians, they will surprise you.” Just after he said this, the Soviets quickly scored four goals in a row to tie the score 5-5. However, in the later playoffs, the Soviet Union lost 1-3 to Yugoslavia.

the defeat of the Soviet team shocked Stalin. Stalin, who was already a “revolutionary mentor” at this time, believed that the failure of the Soviet Union against Yugoslavia was a painful failure of the Soviet Union’s “socialism” against Yugoslavia’s “revisionism”.

because of this, the members of the Soviet team who participated in the 1952 Olympic Games were brutally treated by Stalin, and they became the scapegoat of Tito. After the national team returned, Stalin exiled all the members of the central army team with the most international players to Siberia. Even if the central army had a military background, no one dared to resist Stalin’s order.

fortunately, with Stalin’s death in 1953, these members of the central army soon ended their exile and were rehabilitated.

Franco: shot Barcelona president

Barcelona club in Spain is one of the most famous football clubs in the world. In the history of the club for more than 100 years, too many legendary stars have been left, including Cruyff, Maradona, Romario, Ronaldinho and Messi today.

Catalonia call Barcelona “Barcelona”. For them, Barcelona has represented the spirit of Catalonia since its establishment and is also a symbol of the region’s pursuit of independence from Spain, but this has brought a lot of disasters to the club.

in 1925, Spain was in the period of military dictatorship of Rivera. Because some Barcelona fans booed the Spanish national anthem to express their dissatisfaction with the government at that time, Barcelona was ordered to close its home for six months. Rivera regime’s crackdown on Barcelona also includes: banning the use of Catalan flags in the stadium, all member information must be registered by the police, and club announcements must be in Spanish??

throughout the 1920s, the antagonism and social unrest between different forces in Spain continued, and violence spread throughout the country. On July 17, 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. At this time, Josep sonor, who had been in office for only one year, was the president of Barcelona. Sonor is a native of Barcelona. His family is famous for its strong financial resources and political participation. As early as 1925, he became a member of Barcelona despite Rivera’s suppression of Catalan nationalism. Jamie burns, the author of Barcelona, where the people’s passion lies, believes that sonor’s membership in this case is to buy a ticket to the source of Catalonia’s spirit, marking his recognition of the struggle against Madrid authoritarianism. However, what sonor signed in was actually a ticket to hell.

in August 1936, sonor, who had just become the president of Barcelona for a year, braved the flames of civil war and went to Madrid via Valencia. This trip has nothing to do with Barcelona and football: he wants to hold talks with consensus politicians and plans to visit the volunteers of Catalonia column participating in the defense of Madrid. This time he was on the road of no return.

on August 4, sonor and his party arrived in Valencia and arrived in Madrid in less than 24 hours. The local military lent him a car. Sonor went to the guadalama mountain area, which had become a battlefield at that time. On August 6, in guadalama Mountain District, the car with Catalan flag drove into the control area of Franco’s army. Sonor was recognized and arrested. Without trial, he and his companions were shot on the spot.

a week later, the news of his death spread to Barcelona, and there was widespread commotion at all levels. In the following months, there were many stories that he was put in prison and that he fled to Switzerland, but it was widely believed that he was killed by Franco’s order. It was not until the 1990s that sonor’s body was excavated. In 2009, Barcelona moved the tomb of their former president. 70 years later, sonor finally returned to his hometown.

Franco is a true dictator, but he is also a super fan. He chose to support the strongest team – Real Madrid, and he let Real Madrid return to power