Barcelona vs Real Madrid – A Rivalry by Numbers

All great rivalries, and few are as great as the Spanish Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, about to be played for the 165th time since the rivalry began in 1929, are a lot about the numbers, that tell stories dominant periods, streaks and great players in the long and rich history between the teams, going well beyond the modern Lionel Messi – Cristiano Ronaldo debate.


This will be the 165th time these Claisco will be played in a league match. The first Real – Barcelona match was played on February 17, 1929, in Barcelona. Rafael Morera López scored twice for Real in their 2-1 win. Manuel Parera Penella scored for Barcelona. He also scored the club’s first ever Primera División goal in 1929.

The 100th Clasico was played on March 29, 1981, at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid won 3-0 with goals from Juanito, Santillana and Uli Stielike.

3 (in a row)

The last time Real Madrid won consecutive league Clasicos at the Camp Nou was during the 1960’s, winning three straight at Barcelona’s stadium, beginning with a 5-1 win, their greatest win ever there, with Puskas scoring a hat trick along with Gento and Di Stefano goals. A year and a bit later (March 1964) Real won 2-1 with goals by Puskas and Gento. On February 1965 Real Madrid won 2-1 once again, with goals from Pirri and Serena. Paraguayan striker Cayetano Re scored the goals for Barcelona in all those losses.


Draws are somewhat of a rarity in Clasico matches, with only 19.2% of the matches played between the teams at the Camp Nou ending without a winner. The last time that happened in Barcelona was the famous 3-3 derby in 2007, which was somewhat of a coming out party for Lionel Messi, bringing back Barcelona from a goal down three times, opening his Clasico account with a hat trick. The previous hat trick in the clasico was scored 12 years earlier by Ivan Zamorano, in Real Madrid’s famous 5-0 win.


The number of goals scored by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo combined in the league clasico matches. Messi has 8 up to this point, four at the Camp Nou, but it’s been almost four years, since the 2-0 win on December 2008, since he scored against Real Madrid in a home match. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored two against Barcelona in the league, playing in six league Clasico matches.


Clasico matches are usually high scoring affairs. Since the last 0-0 draw between the teams (November 2002) at the Camp Nou, we’ve had 63 goals in 20 matches, which lines up perfectly with the all time average of 530 goals in 164 matches. The highest scoring affair ever between the two sides was 8-2 and later a 5-5 draw. First in 1935, won by Real Madrid, and 8 years later in Barcelona with the draw.


Both teams dominate at home in these matches. Barcelona have won 48 of the 82 Clasico matches at the Camp Nou, including three of the last four. Real Madrid have won in Barcelona 19 times over the years, including the last one back in April, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the winner.


Barcelona have scored in nine consecutive Clasico matches, beginning with their 4-1 loss at the Bernabeu. A goal in this one will take their streak to 10, tied with the 8th longest streak in the rivalry’s history. The longest streak is Barca’s with 19 consecutive matches spanning from 1945 to 1953. Real Madrid’s longest streak is 14 matches, achieved twice. They are currently on a three match scoring streak in the Clasico.


Tito Vilanova has Clasico experience has an assistant manager and the Supercoppa earlier this season, but this will be his first time on the Barcelona bench in a league Clasico, which usually feels a bit differently. The last manager to make a debut at a league Clasico was Jose Mourinho, losing 0-5 on November 2010 at the Camp Nou. The last debut for a Barcelona manager was Pep Guardiola two years earlier, as Barcelona won the match 2-0.

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