El Clasico: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona - A rivalry like no other

07:14 WAT 29/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi Real Madrid Barcelona 2016
The rivalry between the two Spanish giants are one of the fiercest rivalries in the world…

Real Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most successful clubs in Spanish football.

The rivalry between the two sides dates back 120 years and is one of the fiercest in the world. The Spanish giants have produced several memorable matches over the years and the fixture is indeed a 'classic' encounter in its truest sense.

All you need to know about El Clasico

El Clasico or 'The Classic' was first played on May 13, 1902, in the semifinal of Copa de la Coronación (a tournament in honour of the coronation of Alfonso XIII of Spain). Barcelona won the match 3-1. This competition was considered a forerunner for the Copa del Rey which started in the succeeding year.

The rivalry stems from Madrid and Barcelona being two of the biggest cities in Spain. They are also on opposite political spectrums with Madrid representing Spanish nationalism while Barcelona upholding Catalan sentiments.

Till date, 249 competitive matches have taken place between the two clubs with Real Madrid leading the head-to-head record with 100 wins, three more than Barcelona's 97. 52 matches ended in a draw.

Former FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the all-time highest goalscorer in El Clasico with 26 goals to his name. He is followed by legendary Real Madrid player Alfredo Di Stefano who has 18 goals. Amongst players currently at the two clubs, Karim Benzema has the most number of goals (11) in this marquee fixture.

Most successful club in El Clasico

Los Blancos are more successful than their rivals when it comes to winning LaLiga. While Real have bagged 34 LaLiga titles, Barcelona have won it 26 times.

Real Madrid have also won the Champions League on 13 occasions, the most in history. Barcelona, on the other hand, have five titles to their name. Overall, Real Madrid have won 93 major trophies, one more than their rivals.

Iconic players who played in El Clasico

There is a long list of superstars who have appeared in El Clasico. Iconic players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stefano, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff and several others. 

There are also players who have played for both the clubs namely, Luis Figo, Luis Ronaldo, Luis Enrique, Michael Laudrup, Samuel Eto'o and many others.

How to reach Madrid and Barcelona from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Australia?

There are no direct flights available to Madrid or Barcelona from any of the Indian cities. The carriers who travel between Indian cities and the two Spanish cities are Etihad, Emirates and Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.

Once again there are no direct flights from Singapore. The Airlines which travel from Singapore to Madrid and Barcelona are Etihad, Qatar, Scoot and Turkish Airlines.

In Malaysia, Etihad Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways travel between Kuala Lumpur and Madrid/Barcelona. There are no non-stop flights available.

In the Philippines, there are no direct flights to Madrid or Barcelona. Carriers who operate in the country are Philippines Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.

Fans in Australia can travel to Madrid and Barcelona from five cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. There are no nonstop flights from Australia. There are multiple carriers that operate in Australia namely, Virgin Australia, Qatar Airways, Thai Lufthansa, Etihad Airways and more.