El Clasico: 5 highlights from Barcelona vs Real Madrid matches over the past 10 years
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It’s the biggest fixture in the football calendar, attracting millions of viewers around the world.
There have been so many memorable moments in this centrepiece contest throughout history that we’ve had to limit this top five to the past ten years - even if that isn’t too kind on Real Madrid.
It’s a shame that we’ll have to leave out the pig’s head thrown at Luis Figo in 2002 after he quit Barcelona for Madrid, along with Real fans giving Ronaldinho a standing ovation in 2005 and Messi’s first Clasico hat-trick - aged just 19! - in 2007. But we’re sure you’ll agree that this is still a pretty strong list.
Who knows what could happen when these two titans of Spanish football meet next? Here’s a taster from their recent battles…
Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona
This just isn’t supposed to happen in a rivalry of this magnitude.
With Barcelona closing in on the title in 2009, this May 2nd meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu was Madrid’s last chance to derail their opponents. Instead, it became one of the crowning moments of the Pep Guardiola era.
The game started brightly enough for the hosts - who took the lead through Gonzalo Higuain in the 14th minute - but after that it was one-way traffic. Barcelona steamed into a 3-1 lead at the interval and, despite Sergio Ramos pulling a goal back after half-time, braces from Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi wrapped up a 6-2 thrashing.
Out came the white handkerchiefs in the stands as Real were completely and utterly embarrassed. It’s little surprise Juande Ramos was swiftly replaced by Manuel Pellegrini ahead of the following season.
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Barcelona’s 6-2 win at the Bernabeu kickstarted a run of five straight victories for Guardiola’s side in La Liga Clasico fixtures. The last of these arrived in November 2010 at the Nou Camp, in a game that truly marked this team down in history.
In a match dubbed ‘La Manita’ (the hand) - and if you’re not sure why, hold up five fingers - Barca ran riot in front of their home supporters as Real Madrid ran scared.
Xavi and Pedro fired Guardiola’s side into a commanding early lead, while a brace from David Villa killed the contest in the second half. There was no goal for Messi, surprisingly, but young forward Jeffren (remember him?) wrapped up the action late on as Barcelona charged towards another title.
Messi’s solo magic
The 2011 Champions League semi-final first leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid was a feisty affair.
Jose Mourinho’s Madrid side weren’t afraid of getting in Barca’s faces, but they crossed the line as both Pepe (never...) and the manager were given their marching orders in the second half.
As the game descended into chaos, there was one cool head to reign above the rest: step forward, Lionel Messi.
The Argentine magician steered in future Stoke legend Ibrahim Afellay’s cross in the 76th minute before adding a memorable second three minutes from time.
Collecting the ball from Sergio Busquets (who would surely be too embarrassed to claim an assist), Messi slalomed through the hosts’ defence, shrugging off four challenges and sliding the ball into the net with his right foot. Only Messi could score a goal that perfect on a stage this grand.
Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid, October 2012
Despite their era of dominance in La Liga, Barcelona haven’t had it all their own way over the past decade.
El Clasico fixtures during this period have often been defined by the personal duel between Messi and Ronaldo, and this meeting in 2012 served up a particularly memorable chapter in that individual battle.
After Ronaldo gave Real the lead in a pulsating encounter at Camp Nou, Messi’s brace turned the tables to give Barca the advantage. Ronaldo wasn’t finished there, though, beating the offside trap and firing into the corner to secure a 2-2 draw.
Still, it didn’t do a great deal of good for Madrid in the long term as they finished a whopping 15 points behind their rivals in the title race that season.
The most recent of these five Clasico highlights and by far the most impudent.
It takes cojones to step up to the penalty spot in a Clasico contest - and even bigger ones to then attempt a Panenka.
That’s exactly what Luis Suarez did in this season’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg to earn a 3-0 win for Barca and a place in the final.
Considering Suarez has been criticised for his relative goal drought this year, it perhaps wasn’t the most sensible trick to try. There’s always something magic in El Clasico, though, and the way this fixture encourages players to write themselves into the history books with sublime pieces of skill.
It’s the biggest fixture in the football calendar, attracting millions of viewers around the world and you can watch it live this weekend on Premier Sports.
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