Category Archives: El clasico

Things You may have missed in Madrid’s El Clasico Victory

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Real Madrid came out on top in the first Clasico of the 2020/21 season in LaLiga Santander. Goals from Fede Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric secured all three points for the visitors at the Camp Nou, while Ansu Fati had equalised for Barcelona.


We’ve collated some images you may have missed from the match, including Jordi Alba’s recognition of Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman’s reaction to Real Madrid’s penalty, confusion on the visiting bench and the outside of the foot finish by Modric.


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Segino Dest not happy with Barca’s Clasico defeat

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Sergino Dest participated in his first ever Clasico against Real Madrid on Saturday afternoon, but he left the pitch frustrated after Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Los Blancos. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid had chances to grab the victory, but while the home side lacked the clinical touch, Los Blancos managed to net three goals and grab all three points at the Camp Nou.


“It was a really tough match,” Dest said. “We had chances, they had chances, and it’s just too bad that we lost. “It’s my first El Clasico and I’m just pi**ed that we lost. “They were maybe a little bit sharper in the chances. They finished them and we didn’t. “We have another game on Wednesday against Juventus [in the Champions League] and we have to win that one and get the team spirit back.”

Ronald Koeman placed Dest in his natural position at right-back and the Dutchman put together a decent performance, both defensively and in attack. Asked where he prefers to play, he stressed that he can feature wherever he is needed.”I feel a little more comfortable on the right, but if I have to play on the left, that’s no problem for me,” Dest stated.


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‘We deserved the win and we win it’s – Courtios on Madrid win

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Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Camp Nou following two consecutive defeats at the hands of Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk, and Thibaut Courtois has stressed that he and his team-mates should do their best regardless of who they play against. The Belgian put in another solid performance, making some great saves to help Real Madrid secure all three points at the Camp Nou and extend the gap between the two clubs in LaLiga Santander to six points.


“This shirt and badge deserve to be fought for and valued in every game,” Courtois said after the match against Barcelona. “Today we did it because we came from two difficult and bad games. Today we put in a lot of desire and ran a lot. “It was not an easy week. In the game against Cadiz we did not start well and it was difficult. We did not do our best. “And against Shakhtar we were good until we conceded the goals. Then in the second half we put in our will and courage. Today we played a good match.”

Fede Valverde gave Real Madrid the lead but after Ansu Fati’s equaliser, Los Blancos managed to react, Ramos giving them back the lead in the second half. Courtois noted that the team should be content about the result but focus on the upcoming Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday. “We scored a goal, which was what we wanted,” Courtois added. “Then they equalised, with [Jordi] Alba’s strength and wide runs.

“The game was even; I made a good save and Neto [did] too. There were great chances in the second half. We scored the penalty and then we were able to score the third before, but Neto made some good saves. “This victory fills us with confidence after two games in which people could doubt us. The key when things go a little bad is to stay together. “Now we don’t have to be very excited. We have to be happy but think about the Tuesday [game against Borussia Monchengladbach].”


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Cool El Clasico’s Morning; Managers observing from sideline

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Zinedine Zidane and Ronald Koeman have been the subject of a study by the company ‘Comunicar es Ganar’, which looks at their behaviour when speaking in public. The study, called ‘El Clasico, reading between the lines’, has analysed over 30 press conferences that either coach has undergone since the start of the season.


The goal of the study is to see how both coaches go about their jobs with their respective clubs, especially ahead of Saturday’s Clasico at the Camp Nou.

According to the study, Zidane adopts a simpler, more natural tone during his press conferences. He doesn’t like making big statements regarding his team’s objectives and that means there is no pressure on his players.

As for Koeman, he’s shown a clear contrast to Quique Setien when he was appointed Barcelona boss. While the Spaniard was all smiles, the Dutchman is more reserved and direct in how he speaks. He knows the position the club is in at the moment.

Aside from Zidane and Koeman themselves, ‘El Clasico, reading between the lines’ has also looked at the impact an online format has made on press conferences during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the study, coaches are more inclined to use direct and concise answers than before.


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Barcelona’s Pedri, in his first clasico sets to revenge Madrid rejecting him years back

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Playing in the El Clasico is a dream for any young Barcelona fan. For 17-year-old wonderkid Pedri, it will be a chance to put one over the club who rejected him two years ago.


The highly-rated attacker netted his first Barcelona goal in their Champions League win over Ferencvaros in midweek and is expected to be the Catalans’ secret weapon ahead of their blockbuster derby clash at the weekend.

Though things could have turned out very differently for the teenager, who turned up at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground in February 2018 for a trial in the middle of a snowstorm.

The poor weather conditions meant that Madrid had to close their training ground, even for the first team ahead of an important Champions League knockout tie against Paris Saint-Germain the following week.

When Pedri finally got his chance to play in front of the Los Blancos coaches, the pitch conditions were poor due to the snow and the then-15-year-old was given the cold shoulder.

Speaking about his Real Madrid audition, Pedri told AS earlier this year: ‘I went there for a trial. I was there for a week, but they told me to keep working, that I wasn’t the kind of player they were looking for.’

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If he ends up finding the net in El Clasico this Saturday afternoon, the Real Madrid hierarchy may end up regretting that decision.

The Madrid rejection only spurred the teenager from the Canary Islands on to great things.

A year later, the midfielder was promoted from the Las Palmas youth academy into the first team by manager Pepe Mel, who used to coach West Brom.

Just a fortnight after making his professional debut in the Spanish second tier, Barcelona had seen enough. A ยฃ4.5million transfer was agreed in September 2019 which would see the player move to the Nou Camp the following summer.

It felt like a move long in the making. Pedri’s father used to show him footage of ex-Barcelona man Michael Laudrup and encouraged him to copy his movements and passing during his development.

Yet despite the pressure from his father, the young midfielder has identified another Barcelona legend as his personal muse.

He told Spanish news outlet EFE last year: ‘I have that Barca DNA. My desire is to resemble Andres Iniesta.

‘I have always said he is my idol and he’ll remain that until I die.’

Just like at Las Palmas, the 17-year-old has been fast-tracked straight into Ronald Koeman’s first-team set-up since joining the Catalans in July.

Pedri has appeared in every single Barcelona league match so far this season, making his first start for the club in the 1-0 defeat by Getafe last weekend.

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And the youngster’s goal was very Iniesta-like, a first-time snapshot from inside the penalty area which opposition goalkeeper Denes Dibusz failed to keep out.

The Hungarian side could be slightly forgiven for not taking Pedri seriously pre-match as the youngster turned up to the Nou Camp on Tuesday night with his kit in a plastic bag from a local supermarket.

After scoring in Europe’s premier club competition, Pedri then had to order a taxi to take him home as he is not old enough to gain his Spanish driving licence.

Given the small transfer price paid by Barcelona to acquire him last year, it is the attacking signing that the Catalans needed after years of financial mismanagement in the market.

Forward players such as Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann have all moved to Barcelona for extortionate fees which have not been paid back yet on the pitch.

If 17-year-old Pedri can join the likes of childhood heroes Laudrup and Iniesta in helping Barcelona to victory over Real Madrid this weekend, then Barcelona will feel they have the bargain of the season.


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‘If we stay United, Barca can’t stand us’ – Courtois

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Thibaut Courtois remains ambitious about Real Madrid’s chances to having a successful season in terms of silverware. Los Blancos go into Saturday’s Clasico off the back of successive defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk.


After those losses – Real Madrid’s first of the season – many have questioned whether Zinedine Zidane’s sidecan compete in all competitions like they did during his first spell in charge.

“I think that when you play for Real Madrid then the objective for very title that is in play is to go all the way and try to win it,” Courtois told LaLiga. “That’s what makes this the best team and greatest team in the world. We know this and try to win everything that comes up along the way. If the team is united, it’s very difficult to beat us.

“I want to win as much as possible at Real Madrid and try to keep helping the team, to keep this up. I try to improve every day because I’m still young and I think I can improve and take even more steps forward and help the team to win matches.

“I think we’re getting better every week and personally I feel that way too, so we’re keen to get going with a month that has a lot of important matches and we’ll try to take as many points as possible.”

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El Clรกsico
Saturday’s Clasico gives Real Madrid the chance to strike the first blow in a LaLiga Santander title race with Barcelona. For Courtois, the fixture is a standout one in the footballing calendar.

“It’s a more special match,” Courtois said. “These are games that, from my childhood and even through my time playing at Chelsea, you would watch on TV if you could. These are special matches that you dream of playing in.”

“El Clasico is important, it’s the first clash between the giants. If we win then that’s good, but we can’t get complacent and we must keep winning.

“It’s a long season and there are three points on offer, just like any other week, but obviously it’s important to win for confidence and for pride. Above all, it’s about the pride of winning Clasicos.”

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“Barcelona are always going to be good. I think that the noise around them is from the outside and I think that the team is united on the inside. We’ve seen that they’ve started the season well, winning matches. It’ll be a good game and a difficult game.

“They have a new coach and that’ll be different, but Barcelona also maintain a certain style and we have to be good tactically and we have to approach the game with a good mentality. I hope we can win it.”

Courtois goes up against Lionel Messi on Saturday – a player that he is yet to concede a goal to as a Real Madrid goalkeeper.

“Sometimes you try to find a pattern, to see if he tends to do this or that when facing a goalkeeper,” Courtois continued. “But, we’re also talking about a player like Messi and when you think he is about to do one thing then he can change and do something different at the last second. But, you can try to study him.

“Obviously it’s always special, since he is one of the best players in history along with Cristiano Ronaldo, for example. It’s nice to go up against these players. It means you can say to your children and grandchildren that you’ve played against them and denied them some goals.”


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Silent Camp Nou, Silent El Clasico ‘The first Ever’

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For the first time in history, Barcelona and Real Madrid will play against each other with no fans present at the match. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, top level football is still closed to the public in Spain, which means Saturday’s Clasico will be played in front of an g.


Real Madrid have always been unwelcome visitors to Barcelona’s home stadium, with their players often whistled before and during games. This time, though, there will be silence, as El Clasico is played behind closed doors for the first time ever.

Only a select few will be allowed inside the ground on matchday. They include the players, match officials, plus a limited number of coaches, doctors, kitmen, directors, journalists and club employees.The extensive police presence that is often deployed at these types of matches will not be needed because of the lack of supporters.

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There are conflicting opinions within Catalan politics over whether the Camp Nou can begin to stage matches with fans present. The Generalitat’s secretary of sport, Gerard Figueras, has opened the door for supporters to attend Barcelona’s Champions League fixture with Juventus on December 8.

However, the Generalitat’s health minister, Alba Verges, remains more cautious over whether Barcelona can allow in a reduced crowd for their Champions League games, as UEFA permit.

Away advantage?
It remains to be seen whether Real Madrid can capitalise on the lack of a home crowd when they visit the Camp Nou on Saturday. Los Blancos haven’t won on any of their last four trips to Barcelona in LaLiga Santander, with their last away win in a league Clasico coming in 2016.

They have, though, lost just one of their four league meetings at the Camp Nou since that 2-1 victory towards the backend of the 2015/16 campaign – the 5-1 defeat at the start of the 2018/19 season.


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Real Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos might Miss El Clasico

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Real Madrid are anxiously sweating on the fitness of captain and talisman Sergio Ramos, ahead of a crunch Clasico showdown with bitter rivals Barcelona this weekend.


Ramos has spent time on the sidelines and trained alone ever since picking up a knock during a recent LaLiga clash with Cadiz.

The 36-year-old hobbled off following the half-time interval in a match which Madrid were dealt a shock 1-0 defeat, placing even more emphasis upon the upcoming meeting with Barca.

Madrid have taken just 10 points from five games after starting the season at a slow pace, and will learn at the last minute whether Ramos will be back in time for Saturday’s showdown at the Nou Camp.

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Ramos did not feature midweek as Madrid were again defeated, this time by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

The Madrid captain watched from the stands as his side lost their opening group game 3-2 at home, despite scoring two second half goals and looking on course to stage a comeback.

Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard and Martin Odegaard already ruled out of the Barca fixture, while Mariano Diaz and Alvaro Odriozola are also unavailable for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Eder Militao partnered Raphael Varane in the heart of Madridโ€™s defence against Shakhtar, and could be set to do the same should Ramos not return in time.

In contrast Barca triumphed spectacularly during the midweek Champions League action, hammering Ferencvaros 5-1, despite seeing Gerard Pique sent off.

Ronald Koeman’s team enter the Clasico sitting in 9th place, having played one game fewer than Madrid and taking seven points from four matches.


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Eight Barcelona players set to make their El Clasico debut

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There isn’t a football match quite like the Clasico, yet Barcelona could be in the rather novel position on Saturday of having eight players who could make their first ever appearance in the famed clash with Real Madrid.

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For a young footballer, being able to play in such a match is the stuff of dreams, but very few get to imagine it in reality, especially over the last decade when the teams at both clubs were so settled and full of quality.

Now though, there is a degree of unpredictability about both teams, you can’t be sure which personnel will be selected and even then you can’t be sure what they will play like.

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Unless it was in the Copa del Rey, Neto’s chance of being involved in a Clasico was almost zero, yet with Marc-Andre ter Stegen getting an injury he will be between the posts for the mammoth clash.

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The American international has just arrived and this will be one of those matches that he will remember for a long time, be that a positive or a negative.

Jordi Alba is rushing to be back in time to play, but as things stand it will be Dest who plays from the start.

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In principle, the Uruguayan won’t be part of Ronald Koeman’s starting XI plans with both Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique available. If either of those players suffers an injury either before or during the match, Araujo will be drafted in, given he is now the team’s third-choice central defender.

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Firpo is still behind Dest in the pecking order, even with the American on the wrong side, but if he somehow is involved it will be his first Clasico appearance.

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Barcelona’s marquee signing of the summer impressed in the midweek victory over Ferencvaros, completing 92% of his 80 attempted passes, and now he will be tasked with carrying that form into his first ever Clasico.

It isn’t likely that he will be a starter with Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong both available, but Pjanic has a lot of experience at the top level and knows how they should be played.

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Prior to the start of the LaLiga Santander season, Koeman informed Riqui Puig that he wouldn’t get a lot of minutes in the senior team, but the player opted to stay. This gives him a chance of getting his first taste of Clasico action, although it’s difficult to see that chance being anything other than remote.

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One of the sensations of the current Barcelona team, the 17-year-old is showing himself to be extremely capable of playing for Los Cules, irrespective of the scale of the fixture. Koeman is responding to his efforts and trusts him enough to hand the Spaniard senior minutes.

Now, giving him the same minutes in a Clasico is another matter, but it wouldn’t at all be a surprise if he was the first substitution made.

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Another player who benefitted from the Champions League clash with Ferencvaros, Trincao has excited supporters with how he has settled into life at the Camp Nou. The right-wing position seemingly belongs to Antoine Griezmann, but Trincao’s form is making it harder and harder for the Dutch coach to leave him on the sideline.

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