Although Barcelona lost the Champions League match against Bayern in Munich on Wednesday, they are as happy as ever as they punched their ticket to the Champions League Final with two away goals from Neymar. Luis Enrique’s side produced tremendously in a 5-3 aggregate win over Bayern and critics worldwide praise the in-form attacking trio Messi – Suarez – Neymar as one of the best in football’s history.
As Barcelona came a step closer to win a treble of La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid seem to be lagging behind slightly. They were out of the Copa del Rey very early, they are four points behind in La Liga with just two matches to play. What's more, they have lost the Champions League semi-final leg to Juventus 2-1. However, many believe that the away goal is enough for Cristiano Ronaldo and company to slip through to the Final.
So what should we expect from an El Clasico final?
It would be a big hit for Barcelona if they lost the Champions League final to their bitter rivals in the season they are entirely dominant. On the other hand, it's needless to say they would enjoy their treble even more if the win in the final of the most prestigious club competition came over the Whites from Madrid. The fans of both teams would certainly enjoy it tremendously, and many of them would get involved in some side action as well.
Although Barcelona and Real Madrid have total of 20 European Cup finals combined, we have never seen an El Clasico final. The clubs met four times overall, twice of that being in Champions League semi-finals. In the 2001-02 season, Real Madrid reached the final with a 3-1 aggregate win and went on to win it over Bayer Leverkusen. We then waited for 10 years for the Spanish giants to meet again in the Champions League semi-final, with Barcelona winning this time around with a goal from Pedro and a brace from Messi.
Real Madrid have won the preceding European Cup and Champions League 10 times. They are the sovereign leaders. AC Milan is lagging ehind with 7 titles while Bayern Munich and Liverpool have 5 each.
Barcelona have won the competition only four times, but they have also won three titles since 2005 which makes them the only team to win more than one in the last ten years. All of the Champions League all-time top 6 goal-scorers were part of either Real Madrid or Barcelona. Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez is on top of the Most Appearances list with 155 matches played, followed by Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas with just 4 matches less.
To top it all off, there is the rivalry of the two best players in the World. With two goals in the Bayern Munich clashes, Messi tops the all-time goal-scorers list with 77 goals and Ronaldo is right behind him with just one goal less. Many believe that the performance in the Final could as well decide the Ballon d’Or winner for the year.
If you're into football betting, the bookies are pricing odds for Real Madrid to win at 4/6.
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