Camp Nou not yet full for the eagerly awaited meeting between Spain’s big boys
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If there is a bigger football match in the world that Barcelona against Real Madrid then I’m yet to hear of it. Sure, Manchester United v Liverpool is passionate, Celtic v Rangers is acrimonious, Boca Juniors v River Plate is violent – but they just are not in the same league as ‘El Clasico’.
For starters, the matches are played at either the towering Camp Nou or the cathedral-esque Santiago Bernabeu. The worlds best players have always graced this fixture – from Zidane to Cruyff, Di Stefano to Maradona, Ronaldo (both fat and ripped) to Messi. And the genuine ill-feeling borne out of a century of mutual resentment and distrust is almost unparalleled.
If any further fuel was needed to ignite this always incendiary occasion, the loose-lipped Jose Mourinho will be returning to Catalonia as Real Madrid coach and, in case you haven’t heard, the locals don’t like him too much. He may have once worked for them – only as a ‘translator’ according to his detractors – but since his departure he has goaded them while wearing the badge of Chelsea, Inter Milan and now Real Madrid.
For the purist, the two best players on the planet will meet once more and they are both in fine fettle. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi each scored hat-tricks in their last outings against Athletic Bilbao and Almeria respectively and they will continue their personal duel once.
It seems preposterous that there are still tickets on sale for an occasion that even the most hardened critic of the beautiful game would struggle not to enjoy but tickets there are. Perhaps it is the staging of the match on a Monday night that has seen some folk reluctant to attend but you can be sure that once kick off arrives the place will be full to the rafters.
FC Barcelona v Real Madrid tickets – from £257
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