Top 5 El Clasico Highlights

by AT&T Digital Media Productions

beIN Sports El Clasico Historical Top Moments Messi Ronaldo

For nearly a hundred years, Spain has been the epicenter of one of the most heated rivalries in international sports, El Clasico, a biannual event that pits football clubs Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. With roots extending deep into the political and cultural history of their host country, El Clasico has had no shortage of epic matches throughout the decades. Here are just a few of the most defining moments of El Clasico in more recent memory.

2011 Copa del Rey Final (April 20, 2011)
Final S­­­core: FC Barcelona 0 – 1 Real Madrid

On a cloudy afternoon in front of 55,000 screaming fans at the legendary Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid reunited just four days after competing in La Liga. It was Cristiano Ronaldo who clinched an overtime victory with a spectacular header, marking the end of a three-year trophy drought for Los Merengues and the beginning of a victorious era for Coach José Mourinho, who would go on to capture two more titles with Madrid.

Real Madrid waited 18 years to win back the Copa del Rey trophy, and the victors celebrated that evening by riding atop an open-topped double-decker bus through the Madrid streets filled with adoring fans. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Los Merengues would “lose” the trophy once again—amid the chaotic celebrations, defender Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy from atop the team bus and watched it get crushed underneath on the street below.

Regular Season (November 23, 2002)
Final Score: FC Barcelona 0 – 0 Real Madrid

You’re familiar with the severed horse head in “The Godfather,” but what about the severed pig’s head at thrown at Portuguese superstar Luis Figo’s feet by an angry Blaugrana fan in 2002? It was this terrifying moment that forever etched “The Derby of Shame” in the annals of football’s greatest rivalry. Previously synonymous with Catalan cause, Figo felt underappreciated by the club and accepted an off-season transfer to Real Madrid. Upon his return to his old team, however, Figo was greeted with a hail of insults, beer cans, golf balls, and, of course, the severed head of a cooked sow. It took 15 minutes to clear the field of debris, and the match ultimately ended in an ignominious draw.

Regular Season (January 8, 1994)
Final Score: FC Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid

Barcelona’s 1994 squad will forever be known as the “Dream Team.”  The anchor to that elite squad was Brazilian superstar Romário, a pre-season acquisition made by legendary Dutch manager, Johan Cruyff. Although Barça would later fall short of immortality by losing to AC Milan in the European Cup, this match featured the hard-partying Romário cementing his own legend with a hat-trick and an assist. Goals from David Villa (El Guaje) and Pedro Rodriguez would seal Real’s fate and make Barça victorious once again. To assure Culés across the globe would never forget what happened that day, the victory has since been affectionately known as “La Manita,” or little hand, by Catalán fans.

Regular Season (March 22, 2014)  
Final Score: Real Madrid 3-4 FC Barcelona

Defending champions Barcelona travelled to Santiago Bernabéu Stadium having lost two of their last four league matches, while Real Madrid was undefeated over the course of 31 games. But Lionel Messi showed why he’s considered the greatest player on the planet by marching onto Madrid's pitch and scoring his second hat-trick in a row, making him the second highest scorer in La Liga history at the time. With that spectacular performance, the Argentine also became the all-time top scorer in Clásico with 21 goals, surpassing Real legend Alfredo Di Stefano.

Champions League Semi-Final (April 27, 2011)
Final Score: Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona

Before his outstanding 2014 performance, Lionel Messi struck twice in the final 15 minutes—the second a memorable solo strike—to earn another win for Barcelona in 2011. Messi needed little help for his 11th goal of the season, which occurred three minutes from stoppage after collecting a pass from Sergio Busquets just inside the Madrid half and racing past four defenders before slotting past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. It was another spectacular finish for the man known as “La Pulaga Atomica” (The Atomic Flea).

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