The most hotly anticipated club game in Europe, there have been one or two decent encounters down the years, so here are just a few of them. This is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to suggest any we’ve missed…
1953: La Liga – Real Madrid 5-0 Barcelona
The ‘here’s what you could’ve won’ game. The tug of war between Real and Barca over Alfredo di Stefano has gone down in infamy, the Catalans thinking they had a deal to sign him only for ‘other forces’ to intervene and, among other things, suggest a timeshare between the two clubs where Di Stefano would play for them in alternate seasons. When he eventually rocked up in Madrid and the deal was done, it was just in time for a game against, of course, Barcelona. He scored twice as Real won 5-0. Talk about kicking you in the crotch when you’re down.
1961: European Cup, first round – Barcelona 4-3 Real Madrid (on aggregate)
Real Madrid, of course, hadn’t lost a European Cup tie in the first five years of its existence, and had in the previous season beaten Barca in the semi-finals. But here was a chance for real revenge: after the first leg ended 2-2, Barca won the second 2-1 at the Nou Camp, Brazilian Evaristo – who would move to Real two years later – scoring the key goal.
1974: La Liga – Real Madrid 0-5 Barcelona
If the 1953 game was a ‘coming out’ party of sorts for Di Stefano’s Real, then this was the same for Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona. He had arrived from Ajax in 1973, and his impact was immediate: by the time Barca travelled to the Bernabeu in February 1974, they were well on their way to winning their first title in 14 years, and this emphasised it. Real finished a distant 8th, and Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or.
1975: La Liga – Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
The game was decent enough – Barca won thanks to an 89th minute goal from Charly Rexach – but it’s notable because it was the first game between the two rivals since the death of General Franco. Note the number of Catalan flags in the crowd, hastily stitched together in the month since the dictator’s passing.
1987: La Liga – Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid
Gary Lineker spent more time on the wing than he would have preferred during his two years with Barcelona, but this game displayed the benefits of sticking him up top. A classic Lineker hat-trick, with two opportunistic poacher’s efforts and a delicious dinked finish when put clean through.
1994: La Liga – Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Perhaps the peak of Cruyff’s Dream Team, this was a demolition that has gone down in the ages. Watch the full clip, but we’ll forgive you if you only concentrate on Romario’s astounding drag back and finish. Glorious.
1995: La Liga – Real Madrid 5-0 Barcelona
A punch back in the chops, and perhaps confirmation that the Dream Team era was over. This evisceration came in the season that Real won the title back after four years of Barca dominance, and it might have been an extra kick in the pants that Michael Laudrup was pulling the strings, having moved to Real from Barca the previous summer.
2000: La Liga – Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid
The Figo game. Luis Figo’s first game back at Barcelona after The Transfer, he was pelted with all manner of things (although not a pig’s head – that would come later), and was generally scared witless. “I must be one of the very few sportsmen to have had to perform with 120,000 people against me – and focused on me, not the team,” Figo later told Sid Lowe.
2002: Champions League – Barcelona 0-2 Real Madrid
The second of the three times these two teams have met in the European Cup/Champions League, Real won the first-leg thanks to Zinedine Zidane’s lovely scoop and Steve McManaman’s even lovelier dink (we think we’ve got the terminology correct there), Real won through after drawing the second-leg 1-1, and of course won the final thanks to Zidane’s volley against Bayer Leverkusen.
2005: La Liga – Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona
The Ronaldinho game. No further explanation required, really.
2008: La Liga – Real Madrid 4-1 Barcelona
This game actually wasn’t a particular classic, but it’s included here a) for the humiliation of the Barca players having to form a guard of honour for league champions Real Madrid, and b) as a nice contrast to the next one on the list, just under a year later…
2009: La Liga – Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona
Real took the lead in this one, through Gonzalo Higuain, but that’s where the good news ended for them. An hour or so later, Gerard Pique was popping up in the centre-forward spot to make it 6-2.
2010: La Liga – Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Perhaps a slightly unusual hammering because it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the season: Barca only won the league by three points, effectively meaning that if this had gone another way, they wouldn’t have been champions.
2011: Champions League semi-final: Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
Things had of course got properly spicy between the two teams by this stage, and Pepe (of course) had already been sent off by the time Leo Messi got to work. And boy did he get to work.
2011: Supercopa de Espana – Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid
Or, as it’s also known, the eye-gouge game.
2012: La Liga – Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid
Barcelona were tired at this stage. Tired after four intense years under Pep Guardiola, and tired presumably of being ground down by Jose Mourinho’s incessant bullshit. Hence, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the goal that effectively won the title for Real, and let everyone knew he was him who did it.
2014: La Liga – Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona
Often these games aren’t proper high-scoring and ding-dong tussles, but this one most certainly was. Featuring a Messi hat-trick and all sorts of other fun stuff.