The five most Iconic El Clasicos of all time
Written by Balagadde RAMOS on October 21, 2021
El Clasico. It’s the most iconic fixture in Spanish football, and its many extraordinary moments light up the history of the game.
The year 1926 saw the first match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, and since then the rivalry has grown to what it is today.
Ahead of Sunday’s latest edition at the Camp Nou, we look back at the five most talked-about Clasicos of all time.
When Raul silenced the Camp Nou
In October 1999 – in the last Clasico of the 20th century – Real Madrid arrived in Barcelona in a crisis, with coach John Toshack under pressure for a dreadful run of results.
Toshack would later be sacked, but not before his team had salvaged a point at the Camp Nou.
But they left it late with Raul Gonzalez equalising in the 86th minute, silencing the stadium in the process.
Patrick Kluivert had earlier controversially been sent off by referee Manuel Diaz Vega in a fiery encounter.
Figo and the pig’s head
Is this the most iconic image in Clasico history?
Luis Figo had done the unthinkable the previous summer and switched from Barcelona to Real Madrid.
And boy did the Barcelona fans let him know about it on his return to his old stomping ground, with one fan infamously launching a pig’s head at the Portuguese winger.
Barcelona ran out 2-0 winners in the end, with Luis Enrique – the other ‘traitor’ who had gone the opposite way to Figo – getting the opener.
This was to be the first time that Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola met as respective bosses of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and it was a game that lives on.
Barcelona routed Los Blancos 5-0, with Gerard Pique doing his now famous five-fingered salute to mark the occasion.
Pepe’s kick on Dani Alves
One of the all-time great Clasicos saw Barcelona visit Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals in 2011.
The game was intense and tight, but it swung Barcelona’s way when Pepe was shown a red card for kicking Dani Alves.
Barcelona eventually took the spoils 2-0, with Mourinho incensed that his side had suffered at the hands of the referee.
Mourinho poking Vilanova in the eye
Fast forward to the summer of 2011 and tensions were sky-high after the previous spring’s Champions League matches.
This LaLiga Santander title-decider was a war, with Mesut Ozil, Marcelo and David Villa all seeing red before Mourinho poked Blaugrana assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye.
Barcelona took the honours 3-2, but the whole atmosphere left a sour taste, no more so than in the Spanish national team, where so many of the two sides’ players came together.