Top ten El Clasicos
'El Classico' - arguably the biggest game of club football in the world. The fixture contested between Barcelona and Real Madrid has produced some incredible matches over the years and here's ten of the best...
By Adam Battensby. Last Updated: October 5, 2012 12:36pm
'El Classico' - arguably the biggest game of club football in the world. The fixture contested between Barcelona and Real Madrid has produced some incredible moments over the years and has most recently played host to a fascinating battle between two of the game's great talents - Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
Preceding them, a host of star names have set this game alight with their flare, mesmerising skill and intense passion. Players like Ronaldinho, Zidane, Figo and Roberto Carlos have all contributed towards making the clash between these two Spanish giants absolutely unmissable.
'El Classico' also provides unmissable moments for all of the wrong reasons. Recent heated clashes between both sets of players have gone some way to proving that not everyone loves their neighbours.
Ahead of this weekend's eagerly anticipated derby, live on Sky Sports on Sunday evening, we take a look back at ten of the most memorable battles between Spain's fiercest rivals.
13th June 1943 - Copa del Rey semi-final second Leg - Real Madrid 11-1 Barcelona
In this highly controversial semi-final second leg tie of the Generalissimo - the name of the Copa del Rey in the days of General Franco - Real Madrid recorded their highest ever win over Barcelona. Franco was rumoured to have instructed his men to threaten the whole Barcelona team to lose the match or face imprisonment. The scoreline suggests Barca's players heeded his warning. The referee was also allegedly subjected to similar threats. Two of Real Madrid's players scored hat-tricks in the game, with Sabino Barinaga scoring four overall.
December 4th 1960 - La Liga - Barcelona 3-5 Real Madrid
This was a contest that followed a defeat in the European Cup for Real Madrid, in a game marred by dubious refereeing decisions. Barcelona were gifted a penalty and Real Madrid had four goals disallowed in the controversial meeting. Madrid were out for revenge then when the two sides clashed again just days later. Barcelona were thumped 5-3 in their own back yard as Real were able to taste the sweet revenge they sought in one of the most exciting meetings ever between the two giants.
January 27th 1963 - La Liga - Barcelona 1-5 Real Madrid
In one of the earlier meetings it was Madrid who had the chance to underline their dominance over their biggest rivals in a period which saw the immortal Los Blancos side stomp its way to five consecutive European Cup titles from 1956-60. Madrid legends roll off the tongue, with Santamaria, Zarraga, Gento, and hat-trick hero Puskas all present for the latest humiliation of Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
January 8th 1994 - La Liga - Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
This was the absolute height of Johan Cruyff's 'dream team' generation. Just like the Barcelona of today, who we've seen pass teams off the park under the recent tenure of Pep Guardiola, Cruyff's team of 1994 epitomised how football should be played. Influential Brazilian forward Romario scored a hat-trick in this customary lively encounter as Barcelona completely outplayed their fiercest rivals. Barca did have muted success in the league this season though, finishing fourth in the table at the end of the season.
March 17th 2002 - La Liga - Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
A contest dubbed 'the derby of shame'. It also typified the intense animosity between the two most decorated Spanish teams in history. Luis Figo, who had made the controversial switch from Barcelona to Madrid in 2000, returned to Camp Nou for the first time. Figo, who spent five years in Catalonia and became a firm fans' favourite in the process, was subjected to a torrent of abuse throughout. It took several minutes to take each corner kick as a barrage of missiles rained down from the stands. Astonishingly, a severed pig's head was among the missiles thrown in the direction of the Portuguese. The image of the severed pig went some way to making sure no one remembered the result of this hate filled meeting.
April 23rd 2002 - Champions League semi-final first Leg - Barcelona 0-2 Real Madrid
Neither team were challenging for the Primera Liga title this season. Barcelona were stuck in fourth position whilst Madrid were in third. This only increased the sheer importance of the meeting for both teams in a match dubbed the 'game of the century'. It was the first meeting between the two giants in the rebranded Champions League. Madrid were victorious as Zinedine Zidane scored the first goal and Steve McManaman made sure of the win as he emptied the Camp Nou with a 92nd minute strike. Madrid held on in the second leg to sail through to the final 3-1 on aggregate.
March 10th 2007 - La Liga - Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid
At the conclusion of this epic encounter, the whole world had one man's name on their lips - Lionel Messi. The Argentine striker announced himself on the world stage as a 19-year-old wonder kid, scoring a stunning hat-trick. Real took the lead three times during the game, but Messi came to Barcelona's rescue each time to regain parity. Messi has continued his astounding form to this present day, scoring 175 goals in 186 games for Barca.
November 29th 2010 - La Liga - Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Barcelona set the tone for the rest of this clash as they went 2-0 up very early on. It was a stand-out game which emphasised Barcelona's dominance over their rivals in recent seasons. On Barcelona's 111th anniversary 97,000 people watched one of the most spectacular displays in the history of the fixture as Barca eased their way to a 5-0 win. As a further blow to Madrid, in the same season Barcelona won the Champions League, Super Cup and the Primera Liga title for the third consecutive year.
April 27th 2011 - Champions League semi-final first Leg - Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
In a match that will live on in the memories of all Barcelona fans, the Catalan giants managed to avenge their Champions League semi-final heartache of nine years ago. In that heart-breaking tie, Barcelona lost out in each leg by the exact same score they were to be victorious by in these recent meetings. They reached the final after a 3-1 aggregate win before going on to beat Manchester United at Wembley.
August 29th 2012 - Spanish Super Cup second Leg - Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
Could this be the game that is to end the Barcelona dominance of recent years under Pep Guardiola? Ronaldo and Messi continued their recent battles to outshine each other on the pitch and they both managed to get on the score-sheet in this Super Cup final second leg tie. Real Madrid's 2-1 win made sure of an overall victory on the away goals rule to clinch silverware. It was the ninth Super Cup win in their history.