The biggest football rivalry - one that enthrals an audience of football watchers around the world - is no doubt the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona spectacle.
The all Spanish affair is one of the oldest derbies in the history of the game and interestingly is one that happens for the most times in a single season.
'El Clascios' always set the rhythm of the season for teams like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and in these games, much pride is at stake.
The most recent edition of this affair caught the football world with fever, as Spanish xhampions Real Madrid drew their bitter rivals in the semi-final stage of the Copa del Rey.
The first leg was held in the Spanish capital, as Madrid snatched a late equaliser in the 81st minute, courtesy of a Raphael Varane header from a Mesut Ozil cross. The 19-year-old’s goal cancelled out a 51st minute strike from Cesc Fabregas, when the Spaniard managed to beat Madrid’s offside trap and race through clear at goal, slotting calmly past Diego Lopez. 1-1 it finished.
The second leg was perfectly set to test the nerves of both sets of supporters, as Barcelona hosted their greatest rivals at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
The Catalans arguably held the advantage of the away goal that they brought with them from the first leg of the tie, but amongst Madrid’s ranks, Cristiano Ronaldo had other ideas.
The winger has always been rated below Bacelona’s Argentine magician Lionel Messi, but on a cold night in Catalonia, the boy from Portugal put up one of his best performances in the famous white jersey.
Ronaldo opened the scoring early in the first half as his trickery proved to be too much for his former Manchester United team mate Gerard Pique. Pique was adjudged to have fouled Ronaldo inside the box, and the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
The Portugal skipper rose to the occasion and smashed past Pinto to become the first player in the history of the Clasicos to score in 6 consecutive away trips.
Ronaldo was at the helm of the damage again as he scored shortly after the start of the second-half, this time after some neat work by Angel Di Maria, who had left Carles Puyol all over the place in a swift counter attack.
To pinch salt in the wounds, Varane scored in two consecutive Clasicos as he rose majestically to thump in a header, leaving Pinto bewildered and bemused at 3-0.
Jordi Alba managed to get some consolation as his strike in the 89th minute made the scoreline look better for the hosts.
Los Blancos went through to the final with a 4-2 aggregate win, and will meet cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid after their victory against Sevilla.
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