For millions of football fans from every corner of the planet, El Clasico is the biggest fixture in the world. Not only is a game between Barcelona and Real Madrid the ultimate grudge match, but it also features some of the very best players in the world.
This Sunday they’ll square off once again, with this LaLiga Santander matchday 10 encounter being the 238th competitive meeting between the two giants.
While their very first meeting was an unofficial Coronation Cup game in 1902, which was won by Barcelona, the first official meeting came in the 1916 Copa del Rey semi-finals: even at this early stage in their existence they were already so competitive that it required four meetings to separate the sides and for Real Madrid to ultimately progress to the final.
Los Blancos drew first blood and, over the next 102 years, they have a slight edge in the head-to-head record. The all-time record for official El Clasico matches – not including friendlies or exhibition games – is 95 victories for Real Madrid, 92 wins for Barcelona and 50 draws. Pretty even.
Barcelona have been in the ascendancy in recent years, with the Catalan club having won 16 meetings over the past decade, compared to the 10 victories of their capital city rivals. Only eight games ended in draws.
Every way you look at it, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been more or less evenly matched since they started taking each other on back in 1916. Real Madrid have the most goals, with 401, but only 15 more than Barcelona’s 386. As for home wins, Los Blancos edge it 64 to 61, while the Blaugrana are ahead in terms of away victories with 28 to 27.
Even looking at the competitions they’ve met in, there is little to separate the sides. With 72 LaLiga wins in El Clasico, Real Madrid have two more than Barcelona, while the Camp Nou side’s 14 Copa del Rey El Clasico successes are two more than their rivals can lay claim to.
From the very beginning, this has been one of the most even and hotly-contested fixtures in world football. One thing’s clear… on any given El Clasico matchday, you never know who’ll come out on top.
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