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The build-up is on to club football’s biggest domestic game of the season, as Barcelona prepares to host Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on Saturday night for the second Clasico of the 2015-16 season. For most observers, the outcome of the match will hinge on the performances of two men; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Their extraordinary rivalry almost eclipses the match itself, so as the betting exchanges prepare for a bumper weekend once again, let’s take a look at how their respective records compare in this titanic tussle.
MATCHES PLAYED – Messi vs Ronaldo
Messi has 29 Clasico matches under his belt compared to Ronaldo’s 22. His win ratio eclipses that of his great rival, with the Argentine magician winning 21 (75%) compared to just five (24%) for the man from Portugal. Ronaldo has suffered 11 defeats in this fixture with Real Madrid; Messi has lost seven with the Catalans. Both men are fairly equal when it comes to drawn encounters, Messi pipping Ronaldo seven to six.
Cristiano Ronaldo fans may want to look away once more, as we take a look at both player and team goals scored in the Clasico; Messi has a personal haul of 21 (a 75% strike-rate) goals in this fixture, with his Barcelona team scoring 55 in the matches he’s been involved in. The flip side shows Ronaldo with 15 goals (a 68% strike ratio) to his credit, his Real Madrid side having only scored 29 with him conducting the orchestra. The more astonishing statistic is that the former Manchester United man has only the one assist to his name against the old enemy; Messi has 12. The Barcelona superstar also has two hattrick’s in this fixture (only Alfredo Di Stefano can equal this) and is the top goalscorer in El Clasico history.
What must be taken into consideration however is that Messi has been playing in El Clasico encounters since 2007, Ronaldo since 2009. Since Ronaldo’s move to the Bernabeu, the two have met each other 24 times, both scoring 15 goals. Barcelona has won 12 of these encounters to Real’s six, with six draws. The statistics, when described in this way, make much kinder reading to Ronaldo fans. One other thing to consider if you fancy a punt with one of the best online football betting sites this weekend is that this fixture has never ended 0-0 when both players have been involved.
STAND-OUT MOMENTS IN EL CLASICO
Lionel Messi scored an unforgettable hattrick in his first ever Clasico in 2007 as his Barcelona team drew 3-3 with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. If you are to announce yourself on the world stage, then why not do it in the world’s biggest domestic club fixture; From that moment on, life was the never the same again for the man from Argentina as he grew into the world’s greatest footballer.
For Cristiano Ronaldo it’s not one particular game that stands out but one particular record. The Portuguese striker’s run of scoring in six El Clasico encounters is still the best of any player in this fixture. Ronaldo is also the only player to score in consecutive away El Clásico matches too, grabbing a brace in both games.
By: Steve Mitchell