Barcelona vs Real Madrid

The first El Clasico of the season arrives on Sunday when Barcelona welcomes bitter rival Real Madrid to the Camp Nou. Barca will be without the injured Lionel Messi, while it will be the first Clasico in over a decade to not feature Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star’s summer move to Juventus.

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El Clásico is back. That’s right, the biggest fixture in the Spanish soccer calendar is approaching, as FC Barcelona welcomes Real Madrid to Camp Nou this weekend.

Considering the rivalry and the hostilities that these two teams have enjoyed over the years, the welcome will be anything but friendly. Real desperately needs a confidence-boosting victory to climb La Liga but may struggle at Barça, as the Catalans can retain their dominance at the top of the table should they topple Los Blancos on Sunday.

This will be a rare El Clásico as both teams will be missing their historical top performers. Cristiano Ronaldo famously left Madrid to join Juventus FC in the summer, while Lionel Messi fractured his arm and is sidelined for three weeks after falling awkwardly in the club’s recent 4-2 victory over Sevilla.

However, this fixture is about more than just two key players, even if they happen to be amongst the best players the sport has ever seen.

This is a clash of two soccer giants where incredible goals are frequently scored, where tacklers clatter their opponents, and where tempers flare so frequently it is not uncommon to see red cards given. Heroes are made in this game, and sometimes so are villains.