Sports Strength

Spanish Super Cup: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid Breakdown

Barcelona and Real Madrid have one of the oldest and most fierce rivalries in football and El Clasico will look to create more unforgettable moments on Wednesday.

The two Spanish giants will meet in the Spanish Super Cup semifinals, which is held annually with four sides. Two teams come from the previous season’s Copa del Rey final and the other two are the top finishers from the most recent La Liga campaign.

Real currently sit atop La Liga in 2021/22 while Xavi’s Barcelona are having an uncharacteristically tough season with the Blaugrana in sixth place. Barca are currently 17 points behind Los Blancos.

Today, the rivalry will renew in the Spanish Super Cup at 2 p.m. ET in the United States. The match can be watched on ESPN and ESPN+.

Head-to-Head History

Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet for the 281st time in their history today with the former holding a narrow lead in the all-time series. Barca have won 115 matches in all competitions, while Madrid have 103 victories to their name. The two sides have also drawn 62 times.

NurPhoto / Contributor

Madrid are currently enjoying a five-match unbeaten run against Barcelona though, including four consecutive wins.

The last time either side won five straight matches was from 2008 to 2010 when Barcelona were at peak form under Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. During that win streak, the Blaugrana outscored Real 16-2.

Key Injuries/Illnesses and Suspensions

Barcelona: Martin Braithwaite, Eric Garcia, Sergi Roberto, Moussa Wague.

Real Madrid: Gareth Bale, Mariano Dias.

Barcelona should have a huge boost with returning players guiding Xavi’s side on Wednesday. Ferran Torres is likely to make his debut for the Blaugrana, while Ansu Fati, Pedri and Frenkie De Jong are among the others coming back from injuries.

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Recent Form – Last 5 All Competitions

Barcelona: DWWDW

Real Madrid: WWLWD

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last six matches across all competitions, while Madrid have won two straight in La Liga. Meanwhile, Real are unbeaten in their last five matches head-to-head against Barcelona.

What’s At Stake?

While the match doesn’t affect the league table, Barcelona-Real Madrid is always a heated affair when the two sides get together.

For Barcelona, the plot is pretty simple. Madrid are far ahead in La Liga and with new manager Xavi at the helm the goal is to win and put their club back in the same sentence as their rival.

Madrid need to stay focused in order to keep the spotlight on themselves and further distance Los Blancos from Barca.

The winner will meet the winner of Atletico Madrid-Athletic Bilbao, which will be played Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.


Real Madrid have been a well-oiled machine all season, cruising in La Liga play and advancing to the Champions League knockout phase with ease.

Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. have formed one of the top attacking partnerships in the world and they’re the top two scorers in La Liga. Meanwhile, Barcelona have struggled to find a consistent goal scorer and they hope that Ferran Torres’ arrival will change that.

Barca have only kept two clean sheets in their last 10 matches across all competitions, so stopping Madrid’s potent attack will be challenging.

The improvements under Xavi have been slightly trending up but Barcelona are still a ways from their counterparts and it’s very likely Real extend their unbeaten run Wednesday.

Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

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The History of El Clasico

El Clasico has been one of the biggest spectacles not only in the European football landscape, but in all of sports.

It is a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, two teams in the top Spanish football league known as La Liga, and two of the most successful clubs in all of Europe.

Leading up to match day between Real Madrid and Barcelona, fans are given the opportunity to reminisce the greatest matchups between the two historic Spanish clubs, like in 2014, when Gareth Bale turned into the human flash and dusted Barcelona at their Camp Nou, or in 2017, when Lionel Messi sent his flaming spear into the heart of Real Madrid at their Santiago Bernabeu.

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VALENCIA, SPAIN – APRIL 16: Gareth Bale (L) of Real Madrid celebrates beside Xabi Alonso after scoring Real’s 2nd goal during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Throughout the past decade, the intense rivalry of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi doubled the attraction that is already garnered for arguably the biggest soccer match on the planet. Even without two of the games greatest stars, the historic rivalry between the two teams and hatred amongst the fans should be enough to make this weekend’s El Clasico one to remember.

How did El Clasico Begin?
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Barcelona striker Gary Lineker (r) gets in a shot as Hugo Sanchez of Real Madrid looks on during the ‘El Clasico’ between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on January 31, 1987 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images)

Football analysts and minds alike point to the 1940s as the timeframe for which El Clasico became what it is today. One of the more memorable matches from that decade happened in 1943. Barcelona were up 5-3 in the 73rd minute against Real Madrid during a La Liga match at Les Cortes, Barcelona’s home stadium. In a hostile environment, Madrid would proceed to score two unanswered goals to tie the score, salvaging a draw in a 5-5 result for the record books.

Who has the most goals in El Clasico?
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Alfredo Di Stefano entertaining in Real Madrid during September of 1963 / Getty Images

Argentinean striker Alredo Di Stefano was at the forefront of Real Madrid’s dominance against Barcelona during the 1960s. Di Stefano is the all-time leading goal scorer in El Clasico with 26 goals, and was known for playing some of his best football against arch rival Barcelona.

Most Memorable El Clasico Moment
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Barcelona’s Brazilian Ronaldinho (L) celebrates his goal against Real Madrid with teammate Cameroonese Samuel Eto’o during their Spanish Liga football match in Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, 19 November 2005. AFP PHOTO/ Pierre-Philippe MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Imagine Alex Rodriguez earning a standing ovation at Fenway Park, or J.J Redick receiving love from UNC fans at the Dean Dome. Both of those inconceivable scenarios equate to what Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabau did for Barcelona’s Ronaldinho in 2005.

Ronaldinho was the reigning world footballer of the year. The golden boot winner (awarded to the player with the most goals in a league) was a stalwart on a Barcelona team full of such. Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi were forces to be reckon with as well during that year. Against Real Madrid in 2005 though, Ronaldinho put on a solo exhibit of greatness, and did it all with a big smile on his face. Among displaying his outstanding dribbling and playmaking to the Madrid fans during the match, he scored two spectacular goals to seal a comfortable Barcelona victory.

After his second goal, around half of the supporters in the stadium were standing up and cheering on the Barcelona superstar, just as he tormented their team.

What’s Next?
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Barcelona’s Guinea-Bissau forward Ansu Fati (R) kicks the ball during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on February 2, 2020

This will be the first time in over a decade that we’ll see these two teams play without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo on the team.

While there won’t be any players on the pitch that have half of the quality of those mentioned above, there are reasons to be as excited as ever for this weekend’s El Clasico.

There are young stars in both squads, including 18 year-old Ansu Fati for Barcelona and 21 year-old Vincius Junior for Real Madrid, that will vie to become the next El Clasico hero. After all, there was a point in time when a 20 year-old Lionel Messi wasn’t even considered the best player on his team, but nonetheless, burst onto the scene with a hat-trick in El Clasico in 2007.

Considering the amazing moments we’ve seen between these clubs, expect to see the birth of a new hero, and maybe even a world superstar, when the two teams play this Sunday. After all, it always delivers.