El Clasico: Five fun facts

Ahead of Sunday's El Clasico, where neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi will be seen in action for first time since 2007, we look at five interesting facts surrounding one of the world's biggest league matches.

Santiago Bernabeu - cropped

Sunday's El Clasico will be played at Real Madrid's home stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu.

The El Clasico is undoubtedly one of the biggest derbies in football. The rivalry between the La Liga powerhouses − Barcelona and Real Madrid − goes back to 116 years and football fans have relished these clashes ever since.

Barcelona won the first El Clasico 3-1 in 1902 and the two sides have gone on to play 236 competitive matches since. Real Madrid has had an impressive record in this key encounter, having notched up a grand total of 95 wins.

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Ahead of Sunday's El Clasico, where neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi will be seen in action for first time since 2007, we look at five interesting facts surrounding one of the world's biggest league matches:

1. The first four El Clasico meetings were played between FC Barcelona and ‘Madrid CF.’ It wasn’t until 1920 that the Real prefix was given to the capital city club by King Alfonso XIII; ‘Real’ translates as “Royal” in English.

2. Real Madrid boasts the record for the largest-ever margin of victory in this fixture, when the side soared to a 11-1 win in a Copa del Rey clash in 1943. The tension surrounding that game was so high that it is widely considered as one of the catalysts for the animosity between the two teams.

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3. El Clasico fixtures guarantees goals. Period. The last time neither team scored dates way back to 2002, when the two side played out a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou. There have been 46 El Clasico matches since with as many as 152 goals.

4. Barcelona and Real Madrid have not only battled on the pitch but have also fought it out for players in the transfer market. The most recent cases include Neymar, Andre Gomes and Dani Ceballos, but the most famous transfer battle was to sign Alfredo Di Stefano. Real Madrid managed to beat Barca to sign him and the rest – including five European Cups – is history.

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5. Not many players represent both clubs during their career, but current Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is one of the few to have done so. Although he never took part in an El Clasico clash during his career as a goalkeeper, he was on the books at Real Madrid from 1988 to 1991 and Barcelona between 1994 and 1997.

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