Ronaldinho scores..

The Ronaldinho performance so good that Real Madrid applauded him in 2005

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Football News

There are few performances in El Clasico history quite like that of Ronaldinho at the Bernebeu in 2005.

The Brazilian ran riot in the Spanish capital with a performance immortalised in footballing history for leaving not only Barcelona fans, but Real Madrid supporters applauding. For all the past austerity between the two sides, sportsmanship rose in the face of a footballing masterclass.

And with the latest instalment of one of the beautiful game's most decorated fixture, it would rude not to reminisce on one of the moments that made it such an important date in the calendar.

Fresh from collecting his second FIFA World Player of the Year award and his first Ballon d'Or title, Ronaldinho orchestrated the Barcelona attack in a season that harvested the La Liga and Champions League titles.

A Real Madrid side containing the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and David Beckham was no match for that Blaugrana side, either, slumping to a 3-0 defeat in November.

Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring just 14 minutes into the game, prodding past Iker Casillas in a lead that the away side would see out until half-time.

After the break, Ronaldinho turned a glittering performance into a historic one. He found the net with a stunning individual effort, making Miguel Salgado look like an amateur, to double Barcelona's lead.

The Brazilian replicated his effort just minutes later with a piece of skill that Sergio Ramos will never forget. A mesmeric set of step-overs sat the Spaniard down, giving him an even more painful angle to see Casillas beaten at his near post.

Real Madrid v F.C. Barcelona

It was at this point that even some of the loyalest Madristas simply sat their and applauded the majesty of it all.

Poignantly, too, a 19-year-old Lionel Messi had a front seat experience for the showing - coming on as a second-half substitute. 

Take a look below for full individual highlights of Ronaldinho taking Los Blancos to pieces:

It's no wonder the future AC Milan star is held as one of the greatest players of his generation. The video also demonstrates the sometimes under-appreciated parts of his game - inch-perfect diagonal passes and a deceiving strength.

Maybe it was showings like this that helped inspire Messi to haunt Real Madrid since his teacher's departure. Real will just have to hope they're not on the receiving end of such a devastating individual showing on Saturday or their league hopes will lie in ruins.

Who are you backing at the weekend - Barcelona or Real Madrid? Have your say in the comments section below.

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