El Clasico: Real Madrid and Barcelona gear up to make history

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, February 27: Historic disputes and new rivalries arrive again in the weekend's La Liga El Clasico, when Real Madrid and Barcelona can take a potentially decisive step in this year's title race and move ahead of their traditional rivals in the all-time historical record.

The match will be held at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at 8pm local time on Sunday, March 1. (1.30am IST, March 2, Monday) and will be shown live on Facebook.

The two sides go into the game battling at the top of the 2019-20 La Liga table and locked together with 72 wins each in LaLiga El Clasicos, making a victory at the Santiago Bernabeu highly significant for both players and supporters on each side.

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There have also been 35 draws in La Liga meetings over the last nine decades, as fate and fortune have swung back and forth between the two teams.

With MSL Media inputs, myKhel.com looks at a few historical moments from the El Clasico for over nine decades.

Alfredo Di Stefano case

The first La Liga El Clasico took place in February 1929, with Madrid winning 2-1 at Barcelona's old Les Corts stadium. Over the years the football-side of El Clasico became wrapped up in social and cultural factors.

1953's 'Alfredo Di Stefano case', when the Argentinian superstar almost joined Barcelona before eventually opting for Real Madrid, further complicated the relationship.

Cruyff's arrival

Johan Cruyff's arrival at the Camp Nou in the mid-1970s helped bring Barcelona back to the top, and the Dutchman's performance in a 5-0 La Liga ElClasico win at the Bernabeu in February 1974 is still often talked about today.

The Blaugrana's 5-0 victory with Cruyff as coach in January 1994 was a landmark, then followed 12 months later by Real Madrid getting revenge by the exact same scoreline.

Figo's shock move

Luis Figo's shock and controversial 2000 move from the Camp Nou to the Bernabeu ratched up the rivalry between the clubs once again, while things got even more heated when Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were Barcelona and Real Madrid coaches respectively.

An emphatic 5-0 win in their first meeting in November 2010 set Guardiola's early dominance, but Cristiano Ronaldo's decisive goal at the Camp Nou in April 2012 all but sealed that season's La Liga title for Mourinho's men.

Messi mania

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the fixture's record scorer with 18 goals in 26 La Liga El Clasicos, including a famous hat-trick at the Bernabeu in 2014. Barcelona have won on their last four visits to the capital, while the 0-0 last December means Los Blancos have lost just one of their last five games at the Camp Nou.

The weekend brings a chance for more La Liga El Clasico history, as Real Madrid or Barcelona could take a decisive step in this year's title race and in the process tilt the historical record back in their favour.

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