For practically a decade, as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo established themselves as two of the best footballers of all time, El Clasico in Spain was probably the most anticipated membership video games within the calendar.
While Messi remained the focus as Barcelona saved attracting the best expertise from throughout the globe, Ronaldo’s brilliance triggered a revival of kinds for Real as they challenged their arch-rivals.
Now, with the superstars transferring on from Spain of their sundown years, the Clasico could not generate the identical buzz however there’s nonetheless nice potential for brand spanking new rivalries to take centre-stage. In their Rolling Stones shirts to advertise the enduring band’s newest album Hackney Diamonds, Barcelona will host leaders Real Madrid in La Liga on Saturday and it guarantees to be one other tense battle.
“When Barcelona and Real Madrid come face to face, the footballing world always sits up and takes notice,” mentioned former Argentine footballer Javier Saviola, who performed for Real and Barcelona by the course of an 18-year profession.
“I think the Clasico is still a marquee event. Both teams have different styles and have some of the most talented players in the world in their ranks. It will be another even contest this time around.”
There are some damage considerations for Barcelona and it stays to be seen whether or not Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie De Jong, Raphinha, and Pedri will take the sector. The defending champions will rely significantly within the likes of Ilkay Guendogan, Joao Cancelo, Ferran Torres and a clutch of starlets similar to Lamine Yamal, Alex Balde, Marc Casado, Marc Guiu and Fermin Lopez.
Real, however, have a extra steady squad in the mean time with Jude Bellingham main the best way. The England midfielder has been in high-quality kind this season and is the best goal-scorer in La Liga. In what will probably be his first Clasico look, the 20-year-old will probably be decided to make a mark together with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
“I think Vinicius will be the most difficult player for Barcelona to stop,” mentioned Saviola. “In all the Clasicos that he’s competed in, he’s been the protagonist. Bellingham is dangerous as well but for me, Vinicius is the biggest threat for Barcelona. He’s among the top five players in the world.”
Managed by Xavi Hernandez,-Barcelona are unbeaten within the league however discover themselves in third place on 24 factors after three attracts in 10 video games. They’ve additionally received all three of their Champions League matches this season.
Real are on the prime of La Liga with a one-point lead over Girona and Barcelona. Carlo Ancelotti’s facet, too, has bagged three wins out of three within the Champions League.
“Joao Felix has had some fitness issues but if he plays, I think he could hold the key for Barcelona. He has the skills to trouble the best players in the world and will need to deliver a big performance,” mentioned Saviola.
“Bellingham, of course, is also very important for Real Madrid along with Vinicius. He’s playing at a very high level and it’s not just about the number of goals he’s scoring, he simply looks like such a complete player at such a young age. He’s showing what he’s capable of in his first year at Real and I’m sure he has a big future ahead of him.”
Reflecting on his time in worldwide and membership soccer, Saviola mentioned he felt privileged to have competed alongside a variety of nice gamers however none got here near Messi.
“I saw Messi play for the first time when he was just a kid and not even a professional,” mentioned the 41-year-old. “He was always special, the things he could do on the pitch were out of this world. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the greatest player of all time.”
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