The latest edition of one of world football’s most historic rivalries, of course, is set to play out in Spain this evening.
The matchup in question will see Clasico festivities renewed, when Barcelona act as hosts, in a showdown with Real Madrid.
The clash marks a crucial one in the battle for silverware this season, with Xavi Hernandez’s Blaugrana heading into proceedings in the knowledge that they have one hand on the La Liga title already, but looking to add the Copa Del Rey to their bulging cabinet.
Real, on the other hand, are looking to salvage something from a season in which they have been by far second best in the Spanish top flight, and will be looking to roar back from a 1-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg and reach the final of the competition.
Ahead of what is no doubt set to prove a pulsating affair at the Camp Nou, we at 101, in turn, have today taken a look back at some of the most memorable recent encounters between the two heavyweights of the game.
Check out our list below.
Real Madrid 4-2 Barcelona – April 10, 2005
Galacticos run riot
The sole Real Madrid victory on our list, and also the game dating back the farthest.
In an eerily similar situation to that at play in the current title race in Spain, Real, late in the term back in 2005, welcomed Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu, in the knowledge that a win was a must after slipping nine points back of the frontrunning Catalans.
And this is precisely what Los Blancos subsequently marched on to, courtesy of a Galactico masterclass.
The names, in truth, speak for themselves, as Ronaldo laid on a Zinedine Zidane opener, before turning goalscorer himself in turning home David Beckham’s free-kick.
Next on the scoresheet for the hosts was club icon Raul Gonzalez, teed up by Roberto Carlos.
And there was still time for Beckham to add his 2nd trademark assist of the night, unleashing fellow Englishman Michael Owen for a superb finish late on.
Oh, and Barcelona’s goalscorers on the night? Samuel Eto’o, and Ronaldinho.
What a remarkable moment in time this was for Spanish football...
Barcelona 3-3 Real Madrid – March 10th, 2007
An evening etched indellibly into history as one on which perhaps the greatest to ever lace up a pair of boots announced himself as the game’s next superstar.
In Barcelona’s hour of need, a young Lionel Messi stepped up in the most spectacular fashion imaginable, to deny a star-studded Real Madrid all three points at the Camp Nou.
Three times the visiting Blancos took the lead in the clash, as Ruud van Nistelrooy’s early double was added to by Sergio Ramos’ header a little over fifteen minutes from time.
But Messi was simply not to be denied.
Latching onto Ronaldinho’s ball inside as proceedings in Catalunya rolled into injury-time, the Argentine supremo danced his way into the Real Madrid penalty area, before lashing home beyond Iker Casillas for the first hat-trick of what has since proven to be, in the eyes of many, the greatest career of all-time.
Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona – May 2nd, 2009
Pique makes history
Another key encounter in a tightly-contested La Liga title race, Real Madrid welcomed Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu at the back end of the 2008/09 campaign in the midst of a sctintillating stretch of form.
Closing the gap on the table-topping Blaugrana to just four points, the capital giants headed into proceedings in the knowledge that a victory would have put their fierce rivals under intense pressure with just four games to play.
What subsequently unfolded, however, only served in reiterating the true dominance of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering visitors.
Despite Real taking the lead early on by way of Gonzalo Higuain, doubles from both Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi, either side of Carles Puyol’s finish, ensured that the clash was soon all but over as a contest.
Gerard Pique making it six, in the process establishing Barca as the first side to ever net as many as the away side in a Clasico fixture, only added insult to injury for a wounded Real, as Guardiola romped to a first of what later proved to be three successive La Liga titles.
It’s also probably worth noting that Xavi Hernandez, set to take his place on the touchline for this weekend’s Clasico, bagged 4 (FOUR) assists that night, too.
Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona – March 23rd, 2014
Messi at the treble... again
Another Clasico clash, another Lionel Messi masterclass.
Regarded by many as THE greatest meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the modern era, this one had it all - Seven goals, Messi besting Ronaldo, three penalties, a late comeback and even a customary Sergio Ramos red card to boot.
After Cristiano Ronaldo added to Karim Benzema’s prior double from the spot, Real appeared to have wrestled back control of proceedings early in the 2nd half in Madrid.
But Ramos’ dismissal ten minutes later allowed Messi to level things up with a spot-kick of his own, the Argentine’s 2nd on the night.
And Barca’s numerical advantage ultimately proved telling, as Messi stepped up to complete his hat-trick with yet another penalty five minutes from time, restoring his reputation as the most despised man in Spain’s capital city.
The result also served in breathing new life into the title race, albeit one which was ultimately won by Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona – April 23, 2017
More Messi magic
This piece is starting to feel like something of a Lionel Messi love-in, but it was never intended to be as much...
The fact of the matter is simply that, across a whole host of the most memorable Clasico fixtures in recent history, the game’s greatest player, inevitably, left his mark.
And this never proved more true than in the most recent entry on our list, which also happens to be the last.
In yet another late-season affair, on this occasion back in 2016/17, Barca made the trip to Madrid in the knowledge that a win would see them blow the race for supremacy in Spain wide open.
A tense, and at times downright brutal affair subsequently unfolded, which saw Messi targeted by Marcelo, the dismissed Sergio Ramos and more.
But the diminutive genius simply would not stay down.
After goals on the part of both Messi and Ivan Rakitic overturned Casemiro’s early opener, James Rodriguez looked as though he had done enough to steal a share of the spoils for Real.
Just as the action rolled into time added on, however, Barca’s talisman silenced the Bernabeu once again, rifling home into the near bottom corner to birth one of the most iconic still shots in Clasico history.