Whenever known adversaries are set to meet on the field, viewers are guaranteed to get served some entertaining football. But when Real Madrid and FC Barcelona step up to the plate, the whole world tunes in. It is easily one of the most eagerly-awaited football derbies ever. And in the center of this great rivalry of the modern times are two iconic players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But sadly, we’ve reached the end of an era. Ronaldo has left the Los Blancos to display his goalscoring heroics over at Italy while Messi seems set to stay in Barca, once voicing out that he wouldn’t be anywhere else. Fans still haven’t gotten past the fact and what better way to make peace with it than to round out the best El Clasico matches that the stars have participated in.
1. November 29, 2009 – The Vikings Fall
Barcelona v Real Madrid 1-0
Galacticos Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo failed to measure up against the treble-winning Barca side. Carles Puyol rendered Kaka and Higuain harmless while Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled an outlandish volley that gave Barca its third straight Clasico win.
2. May 2, 2009 – Barca wins at Bernabeu
Real Madrid v Barcelona 2-6
Another trumping by the Camp Nou team. Gonzalo Higuain opened early and Sergio Ramos closed the score to 3-2 at HT. Barca kept pressing hard and the lethal combination of Thierry Henry, Xavi, and Messi tore defensive wall Iker Casillas. The eight-goal thriller brought the Catalans an unprecedented sextuple.
3. November 29, 2010 – Epoch-defining Clasico
Barcelona v Real Madrid 5-0
It was La Manita. Pep Guardiola’s Barca sunk Madrid’s impermeable ship five times in this derby. Jose Mourinho later described it as the worst defeat of his career. Xavi, Pedro, Jeffren Suarez, David Villa and Messi all got on the scoresheet. This Barca team went on to win the league title and the Champions League. How’s that for a dream run?
4. April 16, 2014 – Real Madrid claims Copa del Rey
Real Madrid v Barcelona 2-1
Gareth Bale’s sensational late goal delivered the goods for Real Madrid at Mestalla stadium. With only five minutes left on the clock, the Welsh winger poked the ball past Jose Pinto to break the tie. Barca had possession for most of the time, but not much of a clue. The win served as a prelude to Madrid’s consequent Champions League victory.
5. March 23, 2014 – Leo’s hat-trick
Real Madrid v Barcelona 4-3
This match started at a frantic pace, with Andres Iniesta rifling a left-footed goal into the net just seven minutes in. Kazim Benzema answered (with Angel Di Maria’s cross) but Messi was able to equalize before the break. A low penalty by Cristiano Ronaldo restored things for Madrid before Messi stole the show with two more goals from penalties. Ronaldo later questioned the referee’s “unbelievable decisions” that cost them this home loss.
El Clasico won’t be the same without a little Ronaldo-Messi clash, but we’re certain the new season of La Liga will stoke the fire between renowned Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona.
First La Liga matches lined up on August: Girona v Valladolid, Real Betis v Levante. Set up your trading accounts and place your bets!