Remember when Barcelona was a club in crisis last summer? Massive debts and years of financial mismanagement looked set to threaten the club’s position at the top of European football.
But unlike other big clubs that have stumbled, Barcelona have swiftly recovered from the lows of Lionel Messi leaving this summer. The turning point in Barcelona’s season was the firing of Ronald Koeman and replacing him with club icon Xavi in November.
Sunday was the biggest show of strength yet as it thrashed fierce rival and title leaders Real Madrid 4-0 at the Bernabeu in El Clasico.
“I’m delighted, it’s a night to enjoy,” Xavi told reporters. “Barça is back.”
“Today, we showed that we can fight against a great Real Madrid team that are on a roll and in their stadium.
“It is a great achievement to encourage us for the future of our project.”
A brace from in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and goals from Ronald Araújo and Ferrán Torres silenced the sold-out Santiago Bernabéu as Barca rolled back the years with a dominant performance from the very first whistle.
Ousmane Dembélé, one of those expensive players that had been failing to prove his worth at the club, looked rejuvenated and caused Madrid constant problems with his pace.
Barcelona looked fluid and full of ideas while Los Blancos seemed lifeless and short of options. The 4-0 scoreline did not flatter Barca. If anything they would have won by more if it was not for the performance of Thibaut Courtois in the Madrid goal.
“I’m happy because we were much better than Real Madrid. We have played a spectacular match,” Xavi added.
“I’m enjoying it because more than just being Barça’s coach, I am a lifelong club supporter, so nights like this are those you never forget.”
Barcelona is now unbeaten since January 20 and sits third in the league table, 12 points behind leaders Madrid with a game in hand. Three months ago fans were wondering if Barcelona would finish in the top four this season. Now Barca fans are wondering if they can catch the leaders.
“We didn’t expect this result, but our objective was achieved. We came to win and show what we are worth,” Barça midfielder Sergio Busquets told reporters.
“If we still have a small chance to make a run for the title, we will fight until the end. It’s very difficult but in football anything can happen. We are Barça.”
El Classico Frequently Asked Questions
What is clasico match?
El Clasico is the term used to refer to football matches between Spain’s most famous and bitterest rivals: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. The two teams meet twice during a season, with an additional two times in the Copa del Rey, Champions League, and the Supercopa de España, and possibly in the UEFA Super Cup as well
What is the meaning of El Clasico?
El Clásico (English: The Classic, Catalan: El clàssic) is a football match between two Spanish rival football clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, in the Spanish football league La Liga. It is one of the most famous football matches in the world
When was the first El Clasico played?
The inaugural El Clasico was played on May 13, 1902. This match was a friendly and played 27 years before the establishment of the La Liga championship in 1929 so not official an ‘El Clasico’ match. Barcelona founder Joan Gamper scored in the match
How many times has Barcelona beat Real Madrid?
Barcelona leads the head-to-head results in competitive matches with 96 wins to Real Madrid’s 95; Barcelona also leads in total matches with 115 wins to Real Madrid’s 99 as of match played on 2 March 2019.
What is the biggest win in El Clasico?
The biggest win in El Clasico came in 1943 in the Copa Del Rey when the Los Blanco thrashed FC Barcelona 11-0 on 13 June, 1943. The second biggest win was another Real Madrid in 1935 which ended 8-2 in a La Liga fixture
Which player has scored the most goals in El Clasico?
In total, Messi has scored 25 goals against Real Madrid – well ahead Los Blancos legends Alfredo di Stéfano (who scored 18 goals against Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (17).