Clásico history in numbers

Barça won 3-1 at the Bernabéu in the 2011/12 season / PHOTO: FCB Archive
The Santiago Bernabéu is the venue on Sunday for the latest meeting between old rivals Real Madrid and Barça. Here we review some key stats,

There are few games to compare with FC Barcelona against Real Madrid and Sunday brings the 168th league meeting between the two sides. The venue will be the Santiago Bernabéu, and with the home team four points clears of FCB, and Atlético Madrid also in contention for the title, this latest edition of the clásico promises to be one of the most gripping ever.

Here we take a look at some of the key stats going into one of the biggest games of the Liga season:

· In the 167 league clásicos played to date, there has been an average of 3.19 goals a game.


· It is 27 years since a league game between Real Madrid and Barça has ended without score at the Santiago Bernabéu.


· Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino could become the fifth coach to win in his first ever trip to the Bernabéu in charge of Barça. The only managers to achieve that before have been Venables, Van Gaal, Rijkaard and Guardiola.


· Xavi Hernández has appeared in 38 clásicos, with 15 wins, 12 draws and 11 defeats. He has scored five goals, and whenever he has found the net, Barça have not lost.


· Unless they meet in the Champions League, Víctor Valdés will play his last ever clásico on Sunday at the Bernabéu. He has played 27 in all (21 in the league), with 13 wins (10 in the league), 6 draws (4 in the league) and 8 defeats (7 in the league). In total he has conceded 38 goals and made 96 saves from 137 shots.


· As many as ten members of the current Barça squad have scored in the past against Real Madrid; Messi, Xavi, Alexis, Pedro, Puyol, Piqué and Cesc all scored at least once at the Santiago Bernabéu, while Adriano and Alves got theirs while playing for Sevilla. Jordi Alba and Neymar scored at the Camp Nou, the Brazilian in his first ever encounter with the all-whites.


· Barça have won five of their last ten league fixtures at the Santiago Bernabéu. They lost four of the others, while there has been only one draw.


· Leo Messi is the top league goalscorer against Real Madrid in the current Barça squad. In 15 games, the Argentinian has found the net 11 times.


· Messi could also equal former Madrid player Hugo Sanchez’s record of 234 league goals this Sunday. At the moment, the Barça striker has 232.


· For Real Madrid in league matches, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 4 goals in 9 games against Barça, and he is followed by Sergio Ramos, who has 3 in 17 games.


· Four Barça players (Neymar, Sergi Roberto, Montoya and Bartra) and also manager Tata Martino are about to get their first experience of a clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu. For Madrid, the newcomers are Bale, Isco, Illarramendi and Carvajal.

FC Barcelona v Betis to kick off at 6.00 PM CET on Referendum Day (5 d'abril)

Pedro starred away to Betis earlier this season / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Granada v FC Barcelona will on Saturday April 12 at 8.00 PM CET

The Barça v Betis league fixture will kick off at 6.00 PM CET on Sunday April 5, the same day as referendum on the proposed restructure of the stadium and other facilities, which will be held from 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM CET on the Camp Nou forecourt. Please remember that in order to vote, members must comply with the following requirements: be 18 or over, not be legally incapacitated, have been a member for at least one year and be included in the electoral roll.

In addition to the time and date of the game at home to Betis, the Spanish Football Federation has also announced that the Granada v Barça game the following week will kick off at 8.00 PM CET on Saturday April 9, just three days after the second leg of the Champions League quarter final with Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón.

Víctor Valdés has said being valiant is the key to beating Madrid

Víctor Valdés gave a press conference on Friday / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
On the Champions League draw, the FC Barcelona keeper said that “when we’ve played them before, Atlético have already shown us how dangerous they can be”

He also spoke about how vital it is to get all three points from Sunday’s trip to the Santiago Bernabéu

Last clásico at the Bernaneu?

Sunday may be the last chance Víctor Valdés will ever get to play at the Santiago Bernabéu in a Barça jersey. “I have fond memories of that stadium, and the atmosphere there” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to say goodbye by celebrating three points there. My most cherished memory was the first time I ever played there. I was very young and had never experienced it before.”

[[DES_1]]Shortly after it was revealed that FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid will be meeting in the Champions League quarter finals, Víctor Valdés appeared in a press conference. “All the group winners qualified for the next round, so we always knew we’d have a difficult opponent, whoever it was” he said. After three Supercup and Liga meetings already this season, Barça already have a good idea what to expect. “When we’re played against them, they have shown that are a tight unit that creates a lot of danger”, said the FCB stopper.

However, he continued that “we have every chance of going through as along as we are able to play our gameyou can see how Simeone has influenced the team. They make the most of dead ball situations, and it’s defending against those that is precisely one of our weaker points. It’s important that we don’t let in any goals in the first leg at home, because that will improve our chances for the second leg”.

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Víctor Valdés also knows how important the trip to the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday will be, a game that will have a massive bearing on the outcome of the championship race. “They are three important points, but they generally have been when we’ve played there” he said in response to the suggestion that there is particularly big pressure on the visitors this time round. “We have been working on defensive issues ahead of the game, but we should remember that there will be two teams on the pitch, and we have to avoid any mistakes at the Bernabéu, as we will pay a heavy price”.

Like Iniesta in his own conference the day before, Valdés spoke about how “you need to be brave and confident when you play at the Bernabeu. We have learned how that is the best approach if you want to get a positive result there.”

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Valdés also took the opportunity to heap praise on his manager, Gerardo Martino, saying that “I very much identify with his work methods. It would be great news if he were to stay on at the Club, not just until the end of his contract, but for many more years after that.”

It’s important that we don’t let in any goals in the first leg at home, because that will improve our chances for the second leg
I very much identify with Martino’s work methods. It would be great news if he were to stay