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La Liga - Football: All You Need to Know About El Clasico

It is the biggest game in Spanish and, arguably, European football and will have fans glued to their TVs across the world.

Here is everything you need to know about the clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid, known as El Clasico.

The latest edition takes place at the Bernabeu on Sunday 20th March, with all the action available as part of our European Soccer Live Streaming Highlights.

Having won the pair's last meeting in November 2-1, Real are 1/1 for a victory, with the draw 14/5 and Barca 12/5.

Why is El Clasico the biggest derby?

It is deeply embedded into Spanish culture with the capital being seen as the heart of Spain with the clubs having links to the royal family, while Barcelona is viewed as the heartland of the Catalan people.

The football becomes the embodiment of that and games are always keenly contested.

Watch: Football: Spanish Derbies | El Clasico - Barcelona v Real Madrid

How many times has El Clasico been played?

As of March 2022, a total of 246 El Clasicos have been played and Real Madrid had won 100 matches against Barcelona.

Barca have claimed success in 96, while they have drawn on 50 occasions.

Before March 2022, Barcelona had failed to beat Real Madrid in their last five meetings, which is the joint-second longest streak either team have endured without claiming a victory.

What is the highest winning margin in El Clasico?

The highest scoring victory for Real was an 11-1 success in the Spanish Cup in 1943, while Barcelona's biggest win also came in a cup competition in 1957 when they claimed a 7-2 victory.

That was the first of 10 occasions when the match has been settled by a five-goal margin, the latest of which came in 2010 when Barcelona won 5-0 at Camp Nou.

Have many players played for both El Clasico rivals?

Sometimes players have been at the centre of the rivalry. Luis Figo, Brazilian striker Ronaldo, Michael Laudrup, Luis Enrique, Bernd Schuster, Gheorghe Hagi and Robert Prosinecki are all high-profile players who have plied their trade for both clubs.

In the late 1950s, both clubs claimed they had signed Argentinian forward Alfredo di Stefano after a players' strike in his homeland confused his contract situation.

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A Fifa enquiry resolved that Di Stefano would have to play for each club in alternate seasons and they would both own him, but Barcelona refused and he went on to be one of Real Madrid's greatest players, scoring 18 goals against their arch rivals.

Then, in 2000, Real Madrid presidential candidate Florentino Perez negotiated a deal with Luis Figo to move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Barcelona and the Portuguese midfielder left for the capital having insisted no such move was going to happen.

He had missiles thrown at him whenever he subsequently returned to Camp Nou.

Who has scored the most goals in El Clasico?

Unsurprisingly, the greatest goalscorer in the fixture is former Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

The Argentinian scored 26 El Clasico goals, eight more than his fellow countryman Di Stefano and his great rivals Cristiano Ronaldo.

The leader among players currently featuring for one of the two clubs is France striker Karim Benzema, who has notched 11 times for Madrid against Barca.

Messi also holds the record of 45 appearances in the fixture alongside his PSG teammate and former Real captain Sergio Ramos, who holds the record of being sent off in five El Clasico clashes.

Luis Suarez was the last player to score a hat-trick in the game in October 2018 when Barcelona won 5-1 at Camp Nou, and former England striker Gary Lineker also managed to score three times when Barcelona beat Madrid 3-2 in January 1987.

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