Just one more match left (Real Madrid in the Champions League) and both teams (Barcelona as well) will be fully immersed in the first La Liga Clasico this season, the last of 2012, another six-Clasico calendar year. It’s not about revenge, they say at the Camp Nou, it’s simply about winning.
As with every year, the first league Clasico, the biggest club match in the world, no matter on what stage it’s played, is a great opportunity to review and show the happenings of the most recent encounters between the teams. This time we’re going back to the last 10 in the league – Six won by Barcelona (all under Pep Guardiola), three by Real Madrid and one drawn match, a rarity over the last nine seasons.
23 December 2007 – Real Madrid haven’t won at the Camp Nou in four years at this point, but Julio Baptista scores the only goal of the match to give the visitors a 1-0 win.
7 May 2008 – A humiliating event for Barcelona, and just because they lost 4-1, but mostly because of the Pasillo, when they had to greet the incoming champions onto the pitch. Raul, Robben, Higuain and Van Nistelrooy scored for Real, Thierry Henry pegged one back for Barcelona.
13 December 2008 – Pep Guardiola at the helm for his first Clasico. Real Madrid lose a player to a red card early on and park the bus for over an hour, beginning with time wasting tactics before the first half hour. Eventually, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi break the deadlock, as Barca win their first Clasico in over three years and their first home Clasico in four.
2 May 2009 – In the United States, they would have already invented some ‘x day massacre for this match, as Real Madrid came in trying to save their title hopes (only six points behind) but got thrashed by a much better team, losing 2-6. Thierry Henry scored twice, Lionel Messi scored twice, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol each added one.
29 November 2009 – As if the Clasico needed some star flavor added onto it. Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his first for Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo in his first for Real Madrid. Ronaldo kept missing, Zlatan was the only scorer in the match.
10 April 2010 – Real Madrid were considered the favorites to win at the Santiago Bernabeu, but lose again to a much better team, with goals from Lionel Messi and Pedro as Barcelona win consecutive clasicos away from home for the first time.
29 November 2010 – There have been some famous 5-0 wins in the history of the Clasico, but this one was special because of it being Jose Mourinho’s first at the helm of Real Madrid, as his team completely fell apart as Barcelona seemed to actually take pity on their rivals from a certain stage. Xavi, Pedro, David Villa with a brace and Jeffren (Jeffren!!) scored.
16 April 2011 – Real Madrid manage not to lose for the first time in three years, in what was the least important (due to the huge lead Barcelona had in the table) of the Clasico-mania month, which included the Copa del Rey final (won by Real) and the Champions League two legs, won by Barcelona. Lionel Messi scored from the spot, Cristiano Ronaldo equalized.
10 December 2011 – In the beginning, it seemed like Real Madrid finally managed to turn the tide, scoring a very early goal from Karim Benzema. But Barcelona settled down, took over as they always do, coming away with the 3-1 victory, with goals from Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas.
21 April 2012 – The crowning moment for Jose Mourinho, at least until he wins the Champions League with Real. Real Madrid played a smart, well laid-out game plan, winning in the Camp Nou for the first time since 2007. Sami Khedira opened the scoring, Alexis Sanchez equalized and Cristiano Ronaldo scored the final goal, pretty much sealing Real’s first La Liga title since 2008.