This fixture has proven to be one of the most fiercely contested in football in recent times, with talent and passion being present in the highest order.
Names like Raul, Zidane, Figo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, and many more have been a part of this historic derby, and have left their mark on it in one way or another.
However, the two names that have impacted El Clasico the most and taken it to sky-high levels have been Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But, the footballing fans are in for a different experience this time around, as Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus and Messi’s recent arm injury means that the derby will not feature either of the two.
This will be the first El Clasico in over a decade that won’t feature the Portuguese as well as the Argentine superstar – a sight the modern fans are simply not used to.
In 2007, the two sides met a few days before Christmas, with Real Madrid emerging victorious, as Julio Baptista scored the only goal of the game.
Here is how both teams lined up for this affair back in 2007:
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Puyol (Zambrotta, 77), Milito, Marquez, Abidal; Xavi (Krkic, 80), Toure, Deco (Dos Santos, 56); Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Iniesta.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Casillas; Ramos (Torres, 87), Pepe, Cannavaro, Heinze; Sneijder (Gago, 78), Diarra, Baptista; Robinho (Robben, 84), Van Nistelrooy, Raul.
There is no denying the fact that the absence of Messi and Ronaldo will be a huge blow to the fans of the El Clasico, but maybe it is time for new heroes to mark their names in the history books.