BARCELONA – Valdebebas, the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium, will host the first Clásico in its history this Saturday in a key match in the league outcome, with Atlético de Madrid as exceptional spectators and Real Madrid and Barça equalized in the standings as they already happened in this face-to-face of the second round last season (Barça was the leader with a two-point advantage) and remembering what happened in 2015, when it was played at the Camp Nou, or 2010, facing each other at the Bernabéu.
Few times in the last two decades, in this XXI century, the duel of the maximum has occurred in the final stretch of the championship with the two greats of Spanish football so evenly matched. Last season, matchday 26, Barça arrived as leaders at the Bernabéu with a two-point advantage (55-53) over Madrid, which, thanks to their 2-0 victory, dislodged them from a first place that would still be recovered by Quique Setién’s to lose after three dates already definitively.
Perhaps more definitive was the second league classic of the 2014-15 season, played at the Camp Nou on date 28 and which was reached with Luis Enrique’s Barcelona in first place with 65 points, one more than the team led by Ancelotti , and that shot up in full ride to the title thanks to his 2-1 victory.
A season earlier, on matchday 29 of the 2013-14 academic year, Barcelona, third, came in four points behind the then leader Real … And struck the blow by winning 3-4 at the Bernabéu with a hat-trick of Messi. In the end, however, the title went to Atlético thanks to their draw on the last day at the Barcelona stadium.
However, no one, this century, like the one that was played this Saturday exactly eleven years ago, on April 10, 2010, when both teams reached the Bernabéu Classic on matchday 31 equaled 77 points. The Barça led by Guardiola beat Mourinho’s team 0-2 (goals from Pedro and Messi) and shot towards a title that they would end up winning.
This Saturday will be the official Classic number 246 in history in its 12th different scenario from the first one that was played on the occasion of the semifinal of the Coronation Cup on May 13, 1902 at the Hipódromo de la Castellana and that won (3 -1) the Catalan team.
It will be the seventh field in Madrid where the match will be played, which after that premiere at the Hipódromo de la Castellana received Barça in the field of O’Donell, Chamartín, Bernabéu and old Metropolitano, playing at the Vicente Calderón as neutral the 1974 Cup final.
In Barcelona, the El Clásico, before the Camp Nou, was played with Barça at home on Calle Industria and in Les Corts, with the old man on Calle Muntaner hosting another Cup match when he was the fiefdom of Espanyol. The remaining two were Cup finals played in Valencia (1936, 1990, 2011 and 2014) and Zaragoza (1983).
Since that premiere in 1902 and until the 1-3 that Real Madrid won at the Camp Nou on the occasion of the league match of the first round in October 2020, the Merengue team has won in 97 games, by 96 wins for Barcelona and 52 ties. In the league tournament the advantage is also Madrid (74 wins to 72 by 35 draws.
In addition to the official matches, both teams have met in 33 friendly duels, the last being the one that was played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, in 2017 and which followed previous ones such as the one that was played in Venezuela, in 1982. being the only two played outside of Spain.
Messi, the highest historical scorer of the duel with 26 goals (although he accumulates the last six without scoring), will reach his 45th Classic to equalize Sergio Ramos (loss due to injury) in front of the players with the most games between both teams.
Real Madrid, which has the last three direct duels without defeat (two wins and a draw), could approach its last best streak of five games without losing dating from 2013, although still far from the seven consecutive victories that achieved between 1961 and 1965. For Barça, five victories between 2008 and 2011 as the best numbers, the importance of not losing is evident.