The History Of El Clasico – Real Madrid v Barcelona

By Ian John
October 13, 2022

While Liverpool v Manchester City will be drawing a huge following this weekend in the English Premier League, an even greater number of eyes will be honed in on the Spanish capital where Real Madrid will once again lock horns with their great Catalan rivals, Barcelona.

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There’s no doubt that any Real Madrid v Barcelona game is a massive one, arguably the biggest game in club football each season and the intense rivalry that the two teams share is due to their conflicting backgrounds and lengthy dominance of Spanish football.

With both teams currently tied on 22 points at the top of La Liga ahead of Sunday’s game, five points clear of the team in third and with neither team experiencing defeat in domestic competition this season, the game on Sunday promises to be a crucial one in terms of the eventual destination of the league title.

It is a game that is often packed with passion, incident, excitement and some of the best quality football you will see in club football.

Remember, you can enjoy plenty of pre match betting on the game with bet365 Sport and if you have not yet signed up, use our bet365 bonus code in order to ensure you claim your generous welcome bonus as a new customer.

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The History Of The El Clasico

In pure stats, El Clasico has seen Real Madrid and Barcelona meet up 249 times. Real Madrid have 100 wins, Barcelona 97 with 52 drawn games. These stats do not include friendly games, not that such a thing exists between these two great rivals.

The name El Clasico refers to any competitive game between Real Madrid and Barcelona, usually in La Liga but in more recent times, it has come to mean any competitive game between the two in league or cup competition, domestic or in European competitions too.

The very first game between the two teams took place in the 1902 Copa de la Coronacion and ended in a 3-1 win to Barcelona, but it took 27 more years before the two teams would first meet in La Liga.

That game took place two weeks into the inaugural La Liga season in Barcelona, but despite overwhelming home support, it was Real Madrid that won the first La Liga El Clasico scoring one goal either side of half time in a 2-1 win.

Barcelona did win the return game in Madrid 1-0, a result which helped them on to claim the first La Liga title in Spanish history.

  • Establishing El Clasico

Five years later, we saw two of the most memorable El Clasico games in a single season take place. In the first of the two games Madrid produced scintillating football from the start to go 5-1 up in little over 30 minutes and things did not get any better for the visiting Catalans as Madrid went on to win the game 8-2.

However, just a couple of months later, Barcelona romped to a 5-0 victory at home over their great rivals to gain a degree of retribution for that heavy defeat in the capital.

The reputation for the game to be hot-headed arguably started in the 1940s when there were a number of encounters between the teams that proved to be very intense and included a breathless 5-5 draw between the teams in January 1943.

By the late 1950s, both teams had been boosted by the first of a number of high profile signings that would go on to define the two teams. Real boasted the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas in their ranks, while Barcelona could call on Puskas’ Hungarian compatriot Sandor Kocsis.

The early 60s was an era of dominance for Real who won 9 out of 10 El Clasico games between December 1960 and December 1965. However, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, the game proved to be a much closer and tighter affair with a significant number of draws and many games seeing just one goal scored.

  • Stellar Talent

By now, the game had become one of the most renowned in the world and the rivalry only intensified as both teams regularly snapped up some of the greatest talent in world football to represent them.

Amongst Real’s stellar signings included the likes of Uli Stielike, Laurie Cunningham, Hugo Sanchez, Jorge Valdano, Ivan Zamorano, Davor Suker, Predrag Mijatovic, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Gonzalo Higuain, Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Owen.

Barcelona could call upon an equally stellar cast of players over this period with Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Diego Maradona, Romario, Ronald Koeman, Gary Lineker, Hristo Stoichkov, Meho Kodro, Rivaldo, Giovanni, Simao Sabrosa, Patrick Kluivert, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi all representing the Catalans.

Of course, this does not include a number of top quality Spanish internationals that featured in both teams over the decades including the likes of Juanito, Emilio Butragueno, Michel, Jose Maria Bakero, Sergi Barjuan, Albert Ferrer, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, Andoni Zubizarretta, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Rafael Gordillo, Fernando Hierro, Raul, Carles Puyol, Miguel Salgado, Cesc Fabregas, Miguel Nadal and Xabi Alonso.

There were also a number of players who represented both teams, although their number was relatively small given the rivalry between the two but players that played for both included Robert Prosinecki, Gheorghe Hagi, Michael Laudrup, Luis Enrique, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Bernd Schuster, Samuel Eto’o and Javier Saviola.

Over the last 30 or so years, games between the two have often been hot-tempered with numerous sendings off sometimes descending into as much chaos as passion.

Recent El Classico Form (last 10 games)

  • Real Madrid wins – 4
  • Barcelona wins – 4
  • Draws – 2

Last Match – March 2022 – Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona

La Liga Status

  1. Barcelona – P8, W7, D1, L0, F20, A1, Pts 22 (+19)
  2. Real Madrid – P8, W7, D1, L0, F19, A7, Pts 22 (+12)

Team News

  • Real Madrid

Antonio Rudiger is a doubt after receiving 20 stitches in a facial wound sustained when equalising against Shakhtar Donetsk in the week. Dani Ceballos is already out of El Clasico this weekend, while Thibault Courtois has a niggling back injury but should be cleared to play.

Probable Team – (4-2-3-1) – Laurent Courtois, Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, David Alaba, Eder Militao, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Francisco Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema

  • Barcelona

Barcelona could possibly have Jule Kounde back for El Clasico, but the Frenchman is still a doubt. Memphis Depay, Ronald Aruajo, Andreas Christensen and Hector Bellerin are all ruled out of the game.

Probable Team – (4-3-3) – Marc Ter Stegen, Sergio Roberto, Marcos Alonso, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski

Bet365 Odds And Predictions

Real Madrid are 5/4 to land the win at home, with Barcelona 21/10 and the draw 13/5.

I do feel a draw is a good call given how close these two teams are in form, although Barcelona’s poor form in the Champions League may be a cause for concern in these huge games.

So for me, I’d back the draw and I’m going for a higher scoring and entertaining 2-2 which is a 10/1 chance with bet365 Sport.

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