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Chapter3analysestheroleoffootballthroughoutdifferentphasesof twentieth-centurySpanishpoliticalhistory.Itfocusesontheuseofthe footballarenaasavehicleforexpressingnationalisminthelatentnations (or'historicnationalities')oftheBasqueCountryandCatalonia,andon theroleofRealMadridaspromotingthenotionofasingle,centralized Spanishnation.Thechangingwaysinwhichnationalisttendencieswere expressedinfootballaredocumentedfromthestartofthetwentieth centurywhennationalistissueswerebecominganimportantpartofthe politicalagenda;duringandaftertheSpanishCivilWar(1936-39)when Franco'sregimeproscribedanyhintofnationalistsentiment;andmore recentlyduringSpain'stransitiontodemocracywhenthe'historic nationalities'havegainedahighdegreeofpoliticalautonomyandno longerrelyonfootballasthesoleexponentofnationalism.