Real Madrid will face off against Barcelona tonight at Camp Nou stadium in the 36th round of Spain’s La Liga.
The match has received much press attention because of the teams’ possession of the largest football stars in the world. All players in El Clásico matches, considered every footballer’s dream game, seek to do their best. And although Barcelona has already secured the La Liga title, the Sunday meeting will still be an opportunity for football players to shine.
Real Madrid players want to defeat Barcelona in order to bring out the strength of the royal team and stop the series of non-defeats the Catalan team has enjoyed during La Liga this season, as the Blaugrana has played 35 matches without any losses so far.
Real Madrid also seeks to avenge its 3-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the first round of this season. Real Madrid seeks to beat the Catalan team on its grounds with a win that maintains Meringue’s dignity and spoils the joy of the La Liga title.
Additionally, if Barcelona’s team wins at Camp Nou, it will give the royal team great confidence before their match with Liverpool in the finale of the Champions League on 26 May in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Real Madrid’s French coach, Zinedine Zidane, wants the El Clásico match to be a strong rehearsal before its Liverpool battle, through which the Meringue team hopes to gain the Champions League title for the third season in a row.
Press reports confirmed that Zidane will try to let the team’s stars rest during today’s match, as he studied with many of his major players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, the possibility of entering El Clásico with a selection of substitutes in fear of the stars getting injured before the Champions League final.
Despite reports confirming that the head of Real Madrid asked Zidane to enter the match with the basic formation due to the significance of the match and in fear of a major loss versus the traditional opponent ahead of the European final and after Real Madrid’s loss of the La Liga title, especially in light of the political events in Spain and Catalonia’s demand for independence.
Zidane is expected to let some players with physical issues rest, such as Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Marco Asensio, Raphaël Varane, and Karim Benzema.
On the other hand, Barcelona seeks to settle El Clásico in order to continue its series of non-defeats. The Catalan team has not won against Real Madrid at Camp Nou since the 2014/2015 season, when the Blaugrana achieved the trio with Luis Enrique.
The match will also be a great opportunity for Barcelona's Lionel Messi to become the top scorer in the Spanish league, adding to the fact that he already has a record of scoring in El Clásico games and loves scoring against Real Madrid.
Messi seeks to end the season spectacularly, getting even closer to the European Golden Shoe, which will pave the way for the Golden Ball and him beating Portugal’s Ronaldo.
Today’s El Clásico will be the final for magician Andres Iniesta, Barcelona’s captain who will be playing his 38th match against Real Madrid. It will be a great ending at Camp Nou, where he will be greeted by the fans of the two teams.