The El Clasico has always been one of the most thrilling contests between two of the best clubs in the world. The intensity that these teams bring on the pitch has made it one of the most viewed sports events across the globe.
Just the previous El Clasico at Camp Nou speaks volumes about the excitement and thrill in this contest. Though the title had already been secured by Barcelona with no hopes left for Madrid, it still it offered all of us a most exhilarating contest. Twice Barcelona scored and twice Real Madrid equalised with the match ending at 2-2. It was tense and enjoyable with eight yellow cards and one red card being given until the end.
The history of the El Clasico is rich with very exciting matches. Following are some of the best matches between these two clubs.
1: La Manita – 2010
In Spanish, La Manita is used when a team beats their opponent with a difference of five goals. This scoreline is very prized and treasured in Spain. In 2010, Barcelona performed this very feat against Real Madrid at Camp Nou, repeating the same result of the 1994 match.
Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the 2010-11 season was at their best who later went on to win both the league title and the Champions League title. Sir Alex Ferguson described this squad of Barcelona as the best he had ever faced.
Real Madrid were absolutely devastated at Camp Nou with five goals by the full time. The scoreline looked to exceed more considering Barcelona had scored four before the hour mark.
Messi was very central to Barcelona’s emphatic win that day with Xavi, Jeffren Suarez, Pedro and David Villa all getting on the scoresheet too.
2: Humiliation for Barcelona – 2008
This El Clasico match in 2008 would remain like a scar for all the Barca fans. Their team suffered a humiliating defeat at Santiago Bernabeu by 4-1. Real Madrid had already won the league and therefore, their confidence was sky high when they were hosting Barcelona.
Earlier in the match, Real players had run through the guard of honour formed by the Barcelona players in accordance with their Spanish traditions. It was intended as a mark of respect for the local champions which Real then did not extend their rivals during the play.
Raul initiated scoring by striking from 18 yards followed by a brilliant header from Arjen Robben. Then, substitute Gonzalo Higuain added one more to shatter the Catalan side completely.
Barcelona suffered one more goal from the penalty kick of Ruud van Nistelrooy after Carles Puyol blocked the ball with his hands. Thierry Henry scored a late goal but by then the humiliation was complete for Barcelona.
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3: Messi hat-trick – 2014
This match in 2014 was one of the most thrilling matches. The highlights of the game included a hat-trick, three penalties, and a red card. Both the teams were evenly matched and provided a spectacular contest for the fans.
Andres Iniesta gave a good start for Barcelona by striking early. Then Karim Benzema in combination with Angel di Maria provided two more goals to turn the game in Real’s favour.
However, the talented Lionel Messi scored before the first half to level the scores. And though Ronaldo added one more in the second half, it was Messi who stole the show that day by scoring two goals from two penalties. The thrilling match ended at 3-4 in favour of Barcelona.
4: Humiliation for Real Madrid – 2009
Real Madrid dominated La Liga from 2006-2008, with the points difference reaching eighteen between the two rivals by the end of the 2007-08 season. That all changed when Pep Guardiola turned up at Barcelona.
Real Madrid team was on an eighteen unbeaten streak when it hosted Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu. Their confidence was visible as Higuain scored their first goal. However, goals from Thierry Henry, Carles Puyol, and Lionel Messi destroyed any chances for Real Madrid in the first half.
Though Sergio Ramos gave a glimmer of hope in the next half with a header, the domination of Barcelona was totally complete as Henry, Messi and even Gerard Pique scored.
This match almost wrapped up the season for Barcelona, giving them a 7-point lead with 4 games remaining. Barcelona ended up winning the league with 9 points clear of Real Madrid.
5: The Copa del Rey Final- 2011
This was one of the most exciting El Clasico matches in which Jose Mourinho won his first title for the club. The evenly balanced sides could not score any goal in the 90 minutes time.
Cristiano Ronaldo missed three good chances in that time, though in the extra time he headed the cross home and took his team to victory.
6: Champions League semifinal – 2002
In this very important match, the Catalan side dominated the first half though they could not find an opening goal. In the second half, Zidane chipped the ball over Bonano for a vital goal after presented with a good opportunity by Raul. Barcelona desperately tried for a goal though the score did not move. In the stoppage time, substitute Steve McManaman scored a killer goal.
This was Real Madrid’s first victory at Camp Nou in almost nineteen years. The win also gave them a huge advantage for the next leg at Bernabeu. The next tie ended at 1-1 and hence Real Madrid proceeded to the final. To the delight of Madrid fans, they even won the final at Hampden Park against Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.