Sunday’s classic that will face Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou it will be the first in fifteen years in which the most ‘classic’ teams, Leo Messi and Sergio Ramos, who, curiously, now share a dressing room at Paris Saint Germain.
Both made their debut in this great duel on November 19, 2005, at the Santiago Bernabéu, on a great night for the team led by the Dutch Frank Rijkaard, who won 0-3 with a goal from Cameroon Samuel Eto’o and a double from the Brazilian Ronaldinho Gaucho.
They were headlines. Messi played the first 69 minutes and was replaced by Andres Iniesta. Bouquets formed in the center of defense with Ivan Helguera. The two grew up and became an inescapable reference for their teams, who ended up captaining, and not just for wearing the bracelet.
Among all the competitions, the Argentine and the Sevillian ended up adding 45 classics, three more than other historical ones such as Paco Gento, Manolo Sanchís and Xavi Hernández.
For Messi, Real Madrid was one of his favorite victims and before whom he lived a good part of his great moments. Rosario is the top scorer of the classics with 26 goals, eight more than Alfredo di Stéfano and Cristiano Ronaldo. The ‘farewell’ to the duel took place on April 10, with a defeat at the Alfredo di Stéfano stadium (2-1).
Ramos, a defender with the soul of a striker, scored five goals, the last one by transforming a penalty into a victory in the Barça fiefdom on October 24, 2020. At that time, no one would think that the Spanish international would never play the classic par excellence again. Physical problems kept him from the second round meeting at Di Stéfano.
The vagaries of football, of life, have separated the two banners from the great rivalry of Spanish football and united them in the Parc des Princes, as part of the multimillion-dollar project of Paris Saint Germain, where the former white captain has not yet had the opportunity to debut for said medical contingency.
His departure could give the impression of leaving the classic orphan due to the impact that Messi and Ramos have always had. However, several of these duels have been lost and, even so, the clash has not lost value. He has always offered many ‘actors’ who are also main to attract the attention of the football universe.
Statistically, due to his absence, new references are presented for this Sunday’s clash. Among those that make up the current squads of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Frenchman Karim Benzema is the top scorer with ten targets, and Sergio Busquets the one who has played the most classics with 40, three more than Gerard Piqué and four more than the French striker.
Benzema and Busquets are the ones who now wear the Real Madrid and Barcelona armbands. They will do it again this Sunday at the Camp Nou, where the history of the classic will begin to be rewritten without the most classics.