Barcelona: Real Madrid – Barcelona is probably the prominent rivalry of the football world and the excitement when these two Spanish Giants face each other is unparalleled. However, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi added a different essence to the tie, and the upcoming Clasico, being the first one in the last 10 years to feature neither of them, here’s to looking back at the top five most entertaining Clasicos of the last 20 years.
5. Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona (2014)– The 2014 Copa Del Rey final win saw Gareth Bale score the winner for the Los Blancos with a roaring solo goal. Angel Di Maria had put the Madrid side ahead but it was soon canceled by Marc Bartra. However, with five minutes remaining on the clock, the Welshman received the ball in the middle of the field and blasted it past Bartra to score the winner helping his team get hold of the Spanish trophy.
4. Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona (2014)– The very same year, Barcelona cinched a very narrow victory against Real Madrid in the La Liga in a power-packed thriller. A brace from Karim Benzema and a spot-kick from Ronaldo would have been enough, but a hat-trick from Messi and a goal from midfield maestro Andres Iniesta sealed the victory for the Blaugranas. Adding to the Clasico drama was a 63rd-minute red card for Sergio Ramos.
3. Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid ( 2007)-Any football can never forget this encounter that brought Messi into prominence, as the talisman parried away Real Madrid’s lead thrice becoming the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick in an El Clasico as Barcelona escaped a defeat in front of their home crowd at Camp Nou.
2. Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona (2009)- No Barcelona fan would ever forget this win, neither let any Real Madrid fan forget this game. One of the brilliant examples of Pep Guardiola’s masterclass, as the most successful squad of history, quashed their arch-rivals in an away match. Braces from Messi and Thierry Henry along with goals from star defenders Gerard Pique and Captain Carles Puyol were there, however, the highlight of the game was the four brilliant assists from legendary Xavi Hernandez. Although Gonzalo Higuain and Ramos pulled two back for the hosts it was somehow blurred in the glory of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
1. Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona (2017)- One of the most remarkable Clasico to have happened recently, where the drama reached its zenith. Messi scored his 500th goal for the Blaugranas in the most remarkable manner despite being all bloodies over Casemiro’s elbow in the first half. Casemiro himself opened the scoring for the Los Blancos in the 28th minute, which was canceled minutes later by Messi. In the 73rd minute, a screamer from Ivan Rakitic put the visitors ahead, however, James Rodriguez thought he had saved the day for his side when he netted in a late equalizer coming off the bench, but the arguably best player of the game had different plans. Messi scored the winning goal of the tie, with apparently the last kick of the game, and went and celebrated inform the Los Blancos fans floating his jersey in the air. The celebration became the most iconic one in history, as Messi reminded the world of the reason, he was and will always be the KING OF EL CLASICOS.
Bonus: Real Madrid 0-5 Barcelona (2010)- How could we forget Gerard Piqué’s iconic 5 gestures? Again Guardiola’s Barcelona ran routs as they put Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid to shame. It has been one of the most unforgettable nights for all the fans as a brace from David Villa and goals from Pedro, Xavi and Jeffren saw Madrid lose 5-0 to the arch-rivals.
However, the coming Clasico on 24th October would be the first one in while to feature neither Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sergio Ramos in a long time. But with both the teams possessing immense squad depth, it would still be an exciting affair to watch.