El Clàsico: a classic rivalry

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El Clàsico: a classic rivalry
Lionel Messi (#10), one of FC Barcelona’s key players, was unable to lead Barcelona to victory in the latest El Clàsico. (Wang Lili/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

Staff Writer

The El Clàsico is the name given in fútbol (soccer) to any match between rivals Real Madrid Club de Futbol and Futbol Club Barcelona. These teams represent the two biggest cities in Spain, and play a total of 261 matches against each other.

The most recent El Clàsico match was on October 25, 2014. Real Madrid won 3-1 over Barcelona. Real Madrid’s starting 11 players were Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Carvajal, Modric, Kroos, James, Benzema, Isco and Ronaldo. Barcelona’s lineup included Bravo, Mathieu, Pique, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar, Suarez and Messi.

Injuries were a huge blow for Real Madrid. Gareth Bale, who was sold to Madrid for £85,300,000, was on the reserves and could not play due to his injury. Although this was unfortunate for Real Madrid, the team  still has one of the best players in the world on its side, Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona also has a deadly weapon of choice: Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo and Messi are the  two most controversial players in soccer. Some say Ronaldo is the best, while others say Messi is.

The beauty of the El Clàsico is that the two best players in the world battle against each other. Although they are the best players, they still need a team to win. Many fans agree that in the last El Clàsico, the Madrid defense played exceptionally well, shown by the number of passes and through-balls cut out as well as the clearances made. For example, Real Madrid made six crucial interceptions within its own box which was double the amount that Barcelona’s defenders managed. Real Madrid’s defenders also made eight tackles inside its penalty-box compared to Barcelona’s one tackle. Players like Dani Carvajal and Marcelo, who were tireless down their respective flanks, deserve much of the credit. Credit is also due to Pepe and Ramos who constantly made tackles throughout the game. The defense also caught Barcelona’s forwards in offside positions twice whereas Madrid’s attackers were never caught offside. As the game continued, Real Madrid looked like the dominant team. Even though Neymar scored first for Barcelona, Real Madrid’s offense scored three goals: Benzema with two, and Ronaldo with one.

The El Clàsico is one of the most exciting sport matches in the world, and it is a privilege to see two of the most talented players in the same pitch.

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