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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 2 days ago
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10 hours ago

Real Madrid trample over Barcelona as Clasico lives up to all the hype

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

MADRID -- We love football, we are addicted to it for life, partly because it produces the most unbelievable scripts.

We love matches where a team is on the ropes, battered like a 99-pound weakling by a vicious middleweight champion, but somehow produces resilience, luck or an unpredictable knockout blow. You know the matches, you could name them. The Champions League finals of 1999 and 2005 spring to mind as iconic examples.

Then there are games like this, where the sport needs the team trailing...

 By Rob Train
11 hours ago

Player Ratings: Benzema the hero as Madrid crush Barcelona

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

Real Madrid put on a performance to match any seen in the history of the Clasico at the Bernabeu on Saturday. The home side went behind to Neymar's early goal but rebounded to carve out a 3-1 win that should have been even more emphatic.

Tactically, Carlo Ancelotti outdid his Barcelona counterpart Luis Enrique by deploying two wide men in Isco and James Rodriguez, who had the desired effect of pulling Barca's back line out of shape. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos bossed the midfield contest -- Enrique...

12 hours ago

Three Points: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein reports from Madrid on Real's 3-1 victory over Barcelona in this season's first El Clasico.

Three quick thoughts after Real Madrid shrugged off an early goal from Neymar to defeat Barcelona 3-1 and move within one point of the La Liga leaders.

El Clasico: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

- Clasico: How the world reacted
- Three Points: Unlikely heroes
- Player Ratings: Barcelona
- Player Ratings: Real Madrid
- Ancelotti: We wanted it more
- Enrique: I don't regret starting Luis

1. Pepe and Benzema the heroes

The Clasico kicked off with about 1.3 billion euros of talent on show and both teams chock-full of global superstars. But it was two less sung -- and much criticised -- figures who proved most pivotal in Madrid's come-from-behind victory.

Karim Benzema's goal, his side's third, really killed the game. The Frenchman...

 By Alex Labidou
1 day ago

Predicting El Clasico: Who will win -- Real Madrid or Barcelona?

The ESPN FC panel debate who may have the edge ahead of this season's first Clasico between bitter rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Ahead of the highly anticipated Clasico on Saturday, ESPN FC spoke with the developers of the upcoming "Football Manager 2015" computer game to get their prediction of the final score. The Sports Interactive group ran a simulation of the game and shared the results; here's the outcome.

Prediction:

Real Madrid took the lead over Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after 16 minutes when star forward Cristiano Ronaldo dribbled past two defenders and passed to French forward Karim Benzema,...

1 day ago

Real Madrid-Barcelona: A tactical preview

There's little argument that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two best soccer players in the world, but who's better?

The only aspect we ought to leave out of the Real-Barca preview is the importance of home field advantage. Since 2008-09, Barca have won six times at the Bernabeu, and Real have won four times at the Nou Camp. This Saturday, they play at the Santiago Bernabeu, the pitch where Lionel Messi feels most comfortable. In fact, of the 21 goals the Argentine has scored against the Merengues, 12 have been on Madrid soil. But this isn't just about Messi. It's about all the new things this 229th official...

1 day ago

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona is the richest football game in the world

The ESPN FC crew and Santi Solari give their predictions for El Clasico.

On Saturday, Real Madrid will host Barcelona in the 229th edition of el Clasico -- a rivalry that has become the biggest-money clash in world football.

Players with a total value of almost 1.3 billion euros will take the field at the Bernabeu in front of a global audience of more than 400 million viewers.

In every direction, the clasico numbers keep on growing. No other game comes close.

1. The two clubs own the five most expensive players in football history

Madrid's XI won't include the...