On March 22, in the Nou Camp stadium of Barcelona, the world will stop for the biggest rivalry game in the soccer world, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. Many people professed their love for the sport after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but are still new to the massiveness of a global game. Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here is the essential guide to impress your soccer buddies.
History of “El Clasico (The Classic)”
This historic rivalry has been taking place since the inception of Spain’s professional soccer league in 1929.
It has showcased some of the best and most expensive soccer players of all time. It has also helped decide the winner of the league on many occasions.
Their last meeting on October 25, 2014 saw Real Madrid defeat their eternal rivals 3-1.
Barcelona leads the all-time head-to-head match-ups with 107 wins to Real Madrid’s 96 wins. 58 times El Clasico has ended in a tie.
The team from the Spanish capital has won the league a record 32 times, while Barca has won the league on 22 occasions.
Ronaldo vs. Messi
This game features the two best soccer players on the planet, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 27-year-old Messi, born in Argentina, is the four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, the award given out to the best soccer player on the planet. “La Pugla (The Flea)” has scored a total of 275 goals in the Spanish League, making him the top scorer in league history and there are many more to come. He also leads all scorer in El Clasico with 20 goals.
Lio isn’t tall or particularly strong, but his slashing style of dribbling leaves defenders crazy. Every defender knows what the left-footed phenom is about to do, but his speed while dribbling gets the best of his defender every time. It isn’t crazy to see him get passed 3 and 4 defenders at a time.
He isn’t much of a talker and does his talking on the field.
The Argentine superstar is the leading scorer of the current league with 32 goals, 2 more than Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 30-year-old Ronaldo, born in Portugal, is the current FIFA Ballon d’Or winner. He has won the award on three occasions and his performances on the field have cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time.
The Portuguese striker is the “big man on campus” for Real Madrid. He has scored a total of 14 El Clasico goals and is 2 goals behind Messi in the race for the top scorer in the Spanish League this season.
Cristiano is defenition of a complete player. He is tall, fast, can dribble, shoot with both feet (a skill not many players posses and that includes Messi), a great header of the ball and a born leader.
The Portuguese superstar’s style is much direct. He doesn’t try to dribble past defenders, although he posses the sublime skill to do so. The striker just bolts toward goal and scores. Cristiano has scored a total of 207 for Real Madrid.
He is on one of the biggest teams in the sport and he has put the team on his back. The weight that jersey carries is no small thing and Ronaldo wears it well.
He differs greatly with Messi when it comes to life off the field. He is a successful model and entrepreneur.
The supporting cast of “El Clasico”
Barcelona boasts attacking talent that will make any team envious. The “Cules (Barcelona’s nickname)” have Neymar, Brazil’s biggest star, and Luis Suarez of Uruguay. These two player alone would be the best players on just about any team not named Real Madrid or Barcelona. The attacking trio of Neymar, Suarez and Messi are sure to scrare the pants off of any defender.
Real Madrid is no slouch. The Madrilistas’ attack have the most expensive soccer player of all time, but his name isn’t Cristiano Ronaldo (surprise!).
Gareth Bale joined the Madrid team in 2013 for a transfer fee over 100 million euros. The striker born in Wales is a bullet on the field, his speed and ferocious left-footed shot are too much to handle for opposing defender.
Not everything is attack in soccer. Real boasts, arguably, the best defender in the game at the moment in Sergio Ramos. The center-back is a fast, strong and fierce leader. While his job is preventing goals, he occasionally sneaks up and scores.
The last piece of information you may need to pick a side is who is favored to win. Barcelona is coming into the game in red-hot form. They just took the lead in the league, they are playing at home and Real Madrid has looked beatable in the last couple of matches.
So whether your screaming out “Visca el Barca” or “Hala Madrid” (the teams battle cries), it’s sure to be one spectacular match.
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