El Clasico- one of the most fearsome matches in the whole football community, the match which stops the world, the clash which sends ripples in the whole world, a feast for all football fans.
There have been several great players to have graced El Clasico and with their enchanting display, have set the standards of El Clasico to what it is today.
Easily the first names to cross our minds is of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But today we turn back the golden pages of the El Clasico history and look down to other greatest El Clasico players.
1. Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
One of the greatest Real Madrid players of all time, Di Stefano spent more than a decade at the club, where he won eight league titles and five European Cups.
He currently is the top scorer in Clasico from Real Madrid’s side (18 goals) and the second in the all-time tally, down to only Lionel Messi.
Before joining Real, Di Stefano appeared destined for Barcelona and even played a pre-season friendly for the Catalan giants back in 1953. However, the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) refused to permit the transfer, which saw him end up at Madrid and here he is with his names written in gold in the shining history of Real Madrid.
Ronaldinho was the second Barcelona player to receive a standing ovation at the Bernabeu, the first being another legend, Diago Maradona.
A player loved by all, the Brazilian was one of the finest football had ever seen.
He destroyed Madrid’s Galacticos single-handedly as he scored twice in a 3-0 win in 2005.
He scored in four consecutive matches against Real Madrid between 2004/05 and 2005/06.
3. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers, Casillas was an impenetrable wall who was responsible for Real Madrid’s success at the back. With Real Madrid, Casillas lifted 3 Champions League titles and 5 league titles.
He single-handedly saved all shots from the rivals in a magical performance of 2007 and had kept clean sheets on numerous occasions, much to the anguish of the opposition attacks.
Casillas was ghosted by Lionel Messi in the El Clasicos who has scored 10 goals past him.
Although, it was a heart-breaking departure of Iker Casillas from Real Madrid to FC Porto, he will always remain a club legend.
4. Xavi (Barcelona)
Considered the master of midfield, Xavi’s talent inspired a generation of ball-playing, possession-based technical midfielders.
His star-studded career at Barcelona saw him win everything, including eight La Liga titles, four Champions League and two Club World Cups.
From the uncountable magical performances he has produced in El Clasicos, the demolition of Real Madrid by 5-0 in 2010 is fondly considered to be his one of the best.
5. Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
Arriving in Barcelona in 1973 from Ajax, Cruff played a vital role in helping Barcelona end their league title drought of 14 years and scored numerous goals en route including his fine goal in a 5-0 rout over Real Madrid.
But Catalonia will not just remember him for this.
He established a style of play at the club which lasts to this day- his philosophy shaped Barcelona to what it is today. He revolutionised how modern football should be played, prioritising talent over size and setting in motion decades of football dominance which favoured artists over artisans. Unarguably, the diamond in the Barcelona history book.
Who all feature in your list of Greatest El Clasico players? Tell us in the comment section!