Sports

It is the El Clasico match day

21 Nov 2015 | By Vijaya

The season's first El Clasico, match between the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, kicks off today at the Santiago Bernabeu, the home ground of Real Madrid.

Up to 500 million viewers are expected to watch this weekend's game.

The top spot is up for grabs for the home team if they manage to topple Barca, which already leads the La Liga table.

In context: 'El Clasico'

El ClasicoWhat is El Clasico?

El Clasico (The Classic) is the designated term anytime FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. play against each other.

It is the single most expensive, most watched, and, objectively, the best sporting event in the world.

The football clubs have faced each other competitively 229 times in 86 years. Real Madrid leads the tally with 92 wins against Barcelona's 89.

Messi, the highest scorer

Lionel Messi is the top scorer of El Clasico thus far, with 21 goals to his name in 30 appearances.

Rivalry More than just a football rivalry

El Clásico is more than just football. It brings a multitude of political and cultural differences making it the most all-encompassing rivalry in the sport.

The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona, being identified with opposing political positions.

It represents Real Madrid, Spanish royalty hailing from the capital city, versus Barcelona, the pride and joy of the autonomy-seeking community of Catalonia.

Catalonia Catalan symbolism

Catalonia was a sovereign state with its own language and culture before being conquered in 1714.

Early part of 20th century saw Catalonian-independence movement. But the dictatorship of General Franco between 1930s and 1970s repressed the region.

It was during then that FC Barcelona became more than a club.

It stood for the pride of Catalans as against Real Madrid, which represented the regime.

Star TeamsThe Big two and others

El Clasico displays the world's best football talent. Messi and Ronaldo's rivalry has been the personification of El Clasico since the latter moved to Spain in 2009.

While Barca has the deadliest attacking front line with Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar, Real has Ronaldo, Bale and James Rodriguez.

Being the most expensive teams, Real's players salary exceed $500 million and Barca's costs $490 million.

Messi available but doubtful to start

It is unclear if Messi, who has been out with a knee injury from September, will play tonight's match. Though he was given the all clear from injury and included in Barcelona's squad, it is not known if he will start the match.

21 Nov 2015It is the El Clasico match day

Who will win?

Despite a homeground advantage for Real Madrid, El Clasico is never easy to predict. With Barca winning the last meeting between the two in a 2-1 victory at Nou Camp, it can be any one's game this weekend.

22 Nov 2015Suarez scores twice as Barcelona thrash Real Madrid

Barcelona were quick to establish their dominance over an uncertain Real Madrid side as Suarez opened the scoring at 11 minutes.

Neymar doubled Barcelona's lead at 39 minutes, assisted by Iniesta.

Iniesta scored 8 minutes into the second half giving Barca a 3-0 lead, and constant Barca pressure saw Suarez score again in the 74th minute.

The full-time score read Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona.

Barca's biggest El Clasico win since 2009

A phenomenal performance by Andres Iniesta saw him win the match ball as Barcelona's thrashing of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernebau. This marked Barca's biggest El Clasico win at the Bernebau since beating Real Madrid 6-2 in May 2009.

3 Apr 2016El Classico: Ronaldo breaks Barcelona's unbeaten run

Cristiano Ronaldo's 85th minute goal helped Madrid snatch a 2-1 comeback win at Barcelona, and revive its slim hopes for the Spanish league title.

Madrid ended Barcelona's Spanish record unbeaten streak of 39 games across all competitions with its first come-from-behind win at Camp Nou since 1965.

Pique scored for Barca in the 56th minute; however, Benzema brought Real Madrid back in the game.

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