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FC Barcelona-Real Madrid, The Spanish El Clasico, is The Ultimate Football Rivalry >> Culé Talk


Last year I watched an excellent series on ESPN entitled World Football Rivalries. Celtic v Rangers, Manchester United v Liverpool and Roma v Lazio were among the fierce rivalries highlighted. Other sports have their bitter rivalries as well, with baseball's Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees possibly being the most well known worldwide.

However, one rivalry transcends all others - FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico. It is the clash that the whole world watches and this Saturday will be no different. Passions are always aroused and people in nearly every country in the world will be willing their team to victory.

However, it is only modern technology that has made this possible. My early memories of El Clasico are watching delayed highlights of games on SBS in Australia's World Soccer program. For me, two games are vividly remembered.


The first is the 5-0 destruction of Madrid by Johan Cruyff's Dream Team in January 1994. Romario scored a hat-trick and I will always remember Hristo Stoichkov smiling and nodding approvingly after we scored our fifth goal.

The second game was the "Luis Figo Appreciation Day" game in October 2000. We won that game 2-0 but that is not why that game will never be forgotten.

The first El Clasico I was able to watch live (on Pay Television) was our 3-0 victory at Camp Nou in November 2004. I still remember Samuel Eto'o capitalising on a defensive blunder to race away and score our first goal. Since then, I have watched every Clasico live. There have some great moments for FC Barcelona fans everywhere.

In November 2005, Ronaldinho scored two goals so brilliant in a 0-3 win at Bernebeu that even the Madridistas gave him a standing ovation. Lionel Messi announced himself to the world by scoring a hat-trick, including a late equaliser, in a 3-3 draw at Camp Nou in March 2007.

Our recent victories have usually led to La Liga title wins with championships resulting from our 2-6 destruction of Madrid at the Bernebeu in May 2009 and a 0-2 victory at the same venue in April 2010.


In November 2010, Barcelona played close to the perfect game in humiliating Madrid 5-0 at Camp Nou. Later that season we defeated Madrid over two legs in the Champions League Semi Final.

Glorious victories are now the norm but that can never be taken for granted.

Saturday's game is a must win for us. That is our only chance to overcome Real Madrid's current four point lead. Even then, we need to better Madrid's results over the remaining four matches. However, that is in the future. We first have to win El Clasico.

How both teams respond to their setbacks in the first legs of their respective Champions League's semi final ties will be crucial. I expect both teams to be fully focused for what is now a game that the whole world watches.

We need another victory. I believe that if we play to our potential and take our chances we will have one.

Posted by: Drago , Columnist at 'Culé Talk'          

What are your thoughts ahead of Saturday's FC Barcelona - Real Madrid Clasico?

Which Real Madrid players should Guardiola be more aware of?

Which FC Barcelona players will be key to victory?

I welcome and appreciate all feedback.