Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are two of the biggest names in club football across the world. The clubs are situated in the capital of Spain and the capital of Catalunya, which to this day, wants its independence from the Spanish rule. Naturally, both clubs enjoy a rivalry, dubbed as the El Clasico, which spreads far more than the footballing history. The shining point would be the tie (now called as Copa Del Rey) in which the Barcelona players were made to play, supposedly at gunpoint by the Spanish general, to a 11-1 defeat. That scoreline remains the largest, but for all football fans like me, (who started following the game in late 2008), two scorelines are perhaps the most memorable: a 5-0 victory to Barcelona in 2010 and a 3-1 victory to Real Madrid in 2013, both happening at Camp Nou.

The importance of these two scorelines comes from the fact that they turned the perception of the belligerents of this historic and iconic battle for Spanish supremacy. Although the Madrid victory is relatively fresh, and its psychological consequences are yet to be debated over Barcelona, no football fan can deny the fact that over the 2012-13 season, the Capital club have outclassed Barcelona in the six Clasicos which is the same as the Catalan dominance over Madrid throughout 2010-2012 coming after the emphatic and inspiring 5-0 thrashing of Madrid. Real Madrid had brought Jose Mourinho as their head coach, as he had a CV with recipe to stop Barcelona. But the thrashing in the November of 2010, left the Blancos in fear. Barcelona was the best club around. With their brand of football being touted to be the much needed revolution in football, they stamped each of those words of countless journalists into the minds of Madrid players.

Each goal that Barcelona scored against Madrid, produced a reaction from the Blancos which gushed through their faces as an inevitability. Madrid went after physical tactics to disrupt the Barcelona fluid system of play whereas Barcelona resorted to some serious play acting to get crucial decisions their way from the referee. Champions league semi final tie between these two clubs in 2011 was a hallmark of dirty play, which in my mind, sours the brilliance displayed by Messi to score the two goals for a victory. The league was lost, Copa del Rey came to the capital, and Champions league went to Barcelona.

Come the beginning of 2011 and in a scintillating display of football, Real Madrid came close to beating Barcelona when they fought fire with fire, only to lose to Messi’s inspired play by 5-4 over two legs. So far, Messi had proved vital to every Barcelona success and Ronaldo despite scoring in the Clasicos wasn’t getting the work done.

All of it changed in 2012, when Madrid registered a 2-1 victory at Camp Nou to put League title issues at bay and clinically outclassed Barcelona. This was the first, and since then, the story has been different. Now Madrid look much more capable of inducing errors into the Barcelona squad and taking their chances. Spanish Super Copa of 2011 was lost 5-4 due to reckless finishing from Madrid players while Barcelona executing perfectly on their chances. But things changed in 2012 in the same cup when Angel Di Maria made Valdes fumble to give Real the way out to clinch the title on their home turf, although on away goals rule. Either way, things had changed, Barcelona became profligate in finishing while Real have looked much more clinical.

So, for all the Madrid fans, like me, perhaps this is the turn of tide that the Madridistas have been waiting for. Only the time can tell about it. But the victory at Camp Nou in 2013 on last Tuesday, <savor this moment> changed things. I saw in the follow up victory in the League yesterday that Barcelona player had the same dejected look which Madrid players used to have all through 2010-11. Whatever be the case, the biggest turn Clasico has taken is that of respect of the players towards each other which was close to animosity in 2011. The animalistic games of 2011 yielded only in controversies. Come 2012-13, we see a tactical brilliance outclassing the opponent, and the games continue to enrich the history of the EL CLASICO.

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