This article discusses the consolidation of mass culture in early 20th century Spain and analyses the discrepancy between the intellectual debate about Spanish culture and public behaviour. Bullfighting has throughout history been a much debated theme amongst intellectuals, and it has been banned by kings and the Church on several occasions. Nevertheless, there has always been an audience. In early 20th century, football entered the scene of popular culture in Spain and gained very quickly in popularity. The article discusses the presence of the two and analyses the contribution of bullfighting and football to the process of modernisation and globalisation in Spain. José Ortega y Gasset’s view on culture as a production of value and his idea of the revolt of the masses serves as a prime theoretical backdrop for the study.