Madrid: Amidst security concerns, after the Paris attacks, El Clasico (Real Madrid against Barcelona) is back. Lionel Messi is all set to make a comeback as well after a two-month injury lay-off.
Let’s recall some of the historic El Clasico rubbers.
Real Madrid 11 FC Barcelona 1 (Copa del Generalísimo, June 13, 1943)
Real Madrid beat Barcelona at home in the second leg of a semi-final of the Copa del Generalísimo (now Copa del Rey). The first leg, played at Barcelona's Les Corts stadium in Catalonia, had ended with Barcelona winning 3–0, and it has been alleged that for the second leg in Madrid, Barcelona players were intimidated by police and the director of state security. The Barcelona chairman, Enric Piñeyro, was assaulted by Madrid fans.
Real Madrid 0 FC Barcelona 3 (La Liga, November 19, 2005)
In a clash that exposed the frailties of the Galacticos, the Bernabeau was bewitched by the genius of one man. Ronaldinho scored two brilliant solo goals as he tormented the Blancos’ defence. The home fans were forced to give the Brazilian a standing ovation. Barcelona went on to win the league and the Champions League that season. Man of the Match by a mile, Ronaldinho left a trail of utter panic behind him as he outclassed the Madridistas.
Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 0 (La Liga, November 29, 2010)
Newly-appointed Los Blancos manager Jose Mourinhos’s unbeaten record at the Camp Nou ended in merciless fashion at the hands of Catalan boss Pep Guardiola. Barcelona moved to the table and they never ceded that advantage on their way to a third consecutive title. Messi was once again the driving force, although he didn't get on the scoresheet, as he provided two glorious assists for David Villa after Xavi and Pedro Rodriguez had put Barca in control before Jeffran Suarez rounded off a famous night for the Blaugrana.
Real Madrid 0 FC Barcelona 2 (Champions League, April 27, 2011)
The first leg of the 2011 UEFA Champions League semi-finals saw Barcelona defeat Real Madrid in a fixture that involved extreme foul play from both sides. A combined total of five yellow cards and two red cards were shown to the players. Lionel Messi scored twice in the last 15 minutes, the second a fabulous solo effort, to put the visitors in command after Madrid's Pepe had been sent off. Barcelona went on to create history by becoming the first Spanish team to win the treble.
Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 4 (La Liga, March 23, 2014)
Billed as a potentially decisive match in the Liga title race, the game swung back and forth as Andres Iniesta gave Barca an early lead before a Karim Benzema double put Real in front. Messi brought Barca level before half-time only for Madrid to retake the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty. However, Messi was to have the final say as he completed a hat-trick with two more penalties to become the top goalscorer in the history of the fixture. Defeat for Real was gratefully received across the Spanish capital as Atletico Madrid moved to the top of the table on the same day and held off Barca on the final day of the season to break the big two's 10-year domination of La Liga.