As the El Clasico looms large, let’s take a look at some of the astonishing facts of the tie between two enormous football clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
(1) The term “El Clasico” was originally used only for the Barcelona vs Real Madrid matches played in La Liga (Spain’s football championship), but nowadays it describes any encounter of the two teams, including those in Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League, or other competitions.
(2) Real Madrid and Barcelona’s rivalry began to take shape as far back as 1902, ever since one of their first meetings at a tournament held in the honor of King Alfonso XIII. The hostility continued to grow during the Franco era, when Real Madrid was seen as a symbol of Spanish nationalism, while FC Barcelona was the strongest expression of Catalan pride and identity. Things haven’t changed too much since then. In a nutshell, as long as the rivalry between Castile and Catalonia will carry on, El Clasico will always be more than just a football game.
(3) Another interesting El Clasico tradition is the ‘pasillo’ or guard of honor, where fans of the opposite team applaud their rivals coming out of the tunnel if the title has already been decided. It’s been seven years since the last pasillo – during the 2007-2008 season, Barcelona fans applauded Fabio Capello’s Real Madrid as the players took the field in their eventual 4-1 victory over Barca. It’s only happened three times in El Clasico history – twice for Real Madrid and once for Barcelona.
(4) Total of 33 footballers have worn jersey of both clubs, meaning they have played El Clasico representing both clubs. The most fierce outrage though was observed in case of Luis Figo.
(5) So far 7 El Clasico matches have been without a goal as both the team were unable to break the deadlock. Last of them was in November, 2002.
– Most appearances: 43- Manolo Sanchis (Real Madrid)
– Longest undefeated run in La Liga’s modern era: Barcelona with 7 matches (6 wins) from Dec 13 2008- Dec 10 2011.
– Biggest win in league play: Real Madrid 8-2 on Feb 3, 1935.
– Biggest recent win: Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid on Nov 29, 2010.
– Average goals scored in a league Clasico: 1.58
– Most Goals Scored: Lionel Messi(21) [Barcelona], Alfredo Di Stefano(18) [Real Madrid]
– Most Hattricks: Lionel Messi and Ferenc Puskas (2)
– Most Assists: Lionel Messi (13)
– Zidane can be the first manager to win consecutive away games against Barcelona since 1965 when Miguel Munoz was their manager.
– Real have seen 11 red cards in their last 26 games in El Clasico, 4 of them have been directed to Sergio Ramos.
Head to Head Record:
In La Liga:
Real Madrid Win: 72
Barcelona Win: 68
In all competitive matches:
Real Madrid Win: 93
Barcelona Win: 90
Total Goals Scored in Competitive Matches:
Real Madrid: 390
What’s your prediction for the El Clasico this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by Jan S0L0