IF Actual Madrid’s La Liga title hopes aren’t already over, they may nicely be by Saturday afternoon after El Clasico.
Though Los Blancos have performed a recreation fewer than their rivals, a win for Barcelona would take them 14 factors away from Madrid on the prime of the desk.
It’s a lead that will be virtually unattainable for Zinedine Zidane’s facet to overtake.
El Clasico video games are all the time nice and with a lot driving on Saturday’s assembly, the conflict is simply that little bit extra tantalising.
A number of of the world’s greatest gamers can be on present and that has been the case for numerous many years.
So with that in thoughts, we requested our buddies at Soccer Whispers to have a look at ten of the best stars to grace the fixture.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
There’s nowhere else to start out this listing than with Messi, who is arguably the best participant ever.
With 24 targets towards Actual Madrid, no one has scored greater than the Argentine within the historical past of El Clasico.
That features the 2 he netted within the final league assembly between the pair on the Bernabeu, again in April, which noticed Barca win Three-2 due to his injury-time effort.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Actual Madrid)
If born in one other period, the Portuguese celebrity would have been thought of the very best of his technology by far.
As an alternative he’s come up towards Messi, and the rivalry between him and the Argentine will clearly be one thing to be careful for on Saturday.
Whereas he could have seven targets fewer in Clasicos than Barca’s No10, Ronaldo holds the report for scoring in consecutive video games between the 2 sides – managing seven in six straight matches.
Alfredo Di Stefano (Actual Madrid)
One of many biggest Actual Madrid gamers of all time, Di Stefano spent greater than a decade on the membership, the place he gained eight league titles and 5 European Cups.
He was the highest scorer in Clasico historical past with 18 till Messi broke his report again in 2014, but it surely might’ve been all so totally different.
Earlier than becoming a member of Actual, Di Stefano appeared destined for Barcelona and even performed a pre-season pleasant for the Catalan giants again in 1953.
Nonetheless, the RFEF (Spanish Soccer Federation) refused to sanction the switch, which noticed him find yourself at Madrid.
Many imagine Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco personally intervened to see the ahead find yourself within the capital.
Diego Maradona (Barcelona)
The Argentine genius was solely on the Catalan facet for 2 seasons.
Though he was a world-record signing on the time, his time at Barcelona was memorable for his points on and off the pitch.
His time there noticed him undergo from hepatitis and likewise begin a mass brawl towards Athletic Bilbao.
However regardless of that, Maradona is extensively accepted to have been the primary Barca participant to be applauded by Actual Madrid followers after his audacious and skilful Clasico purpose in 1983.
He dribbled previous Madrid goalkeeper Agustin and as he approached the empty purpose, stopped lifeless.
Defender Juan Jose slid desperately slid in to aim to dam an anticipated shot and crashed into the put up. Maradona was left with an unguarded internet to fit into.
Whereas Maradona was the primary to obtain a standing ovation on the Bernabeu, Ronaldinho was the second.
He destroyed Madrid’s Galacticos single-handedly as he scored twice in a Three-Zero win in 2005.
The Brazilian’s silky abilities at his peak had been one in all soccer’s most interesting sights and he all the time appeared to show it on for Clasicos.
He scored in 4 consecutive matches towards Actual Madrid between 2004/05 and 2005/06.
Manuel Sanchis (Actual Madrid)
The previous Los Blancos captain spent his whole profession with the membership and has made extra Clasico appearances than anybody else – 43.
He was a part of the well-known Quinta del Buitre – the 5 homegrown Actual Madrid gamers who had been on the core of the facet that dominated Spanish soccer within the 1980s – alongside Emilio Butragueno, Michel, Rafael Martin Vazquez and Miguel Pardeza.
A cultured however aggressive participant, Sanchis would usually act as sweeper for his facet and spent 13 seasons as captain earlier than retiring in 2001.
Only one look wanting Sanchis’ 43 Clasico video games, Xavi’s expertise impressed a technology of ball-playing, possession-based technical midfielders.
His profession at Barcelona noticed him win all the pieces, together with eight La Liga titles, 4 Champions League and two Membership World Cups.
He was additionally a part of the Spanish World Cup-winning facet of 2010 and the group that gained the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
Ferenc Puskas (Actual Madrid)
The Hungarian is considered among the best of all time, scoring 622 targets in 629 video games all through his profession, with 14 of these in Clasicos.
He had an excellent report at Actual Madrid after transferring from Budapest Honved, breaking the 40-goal mark in three successive seasons from 1959/60 to 1961/62.
Puskas was recognized for his highly effective shot and was named by World Soccer Journal because the seventh-greatest participant of the 20th century.
Raul (Actual Madrid)
Solely Di Stefano and Ronaldo have scored extra Clasico targets than the Spanish ahead’s 15 for Actual Madrid.
He’s the one participant to be named Uefa’s Ahead of the 12 months 3 times and that was as a result of Raul scored targets at key moments in matches.
The striker was additionally Actual Madrid’s talisman for various years, and was Los Blancos captain earlier than Iker Casillas.
Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
After arriving from Ajax in 1973, the Dutchman instantly helped Barca to their first league title in 14 years, scoring as soon as in a 5-Zero win over Actual Madrid alongside the best way.
However that gained’t be what he’s remembered most for in Catalonia.
As an alternative he instilled a mode of play on the membership that lasts to today – arguably no man has had a higher affect in Barcelona historical past than Cruyff.