Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid: 20 Years Of Competition
By Alfonso Duro
This year marks the 20th anniversary of FC Barcelona’s Dream Team 5-0 victory over Real Madrid. Since then, the two power houses of Spain have exchanged their dominance over La Liga, with the rise and fall of the Galacticos, the re-emergence of the Dream Team through Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola’s squads, the arrival of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to prime time and, of course, the drama surrounding Mourinho and his entourage.
20 years full of emotions and defining moments, that will be remain in the history of the sport forever, and one connecting story line: great matches played at Camp Nou.
Here’s a list of the top five Barcelona vs Real Madrid in the last 20 years:
La Liga 1993-1994
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid: The last year Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team played together, and perhaps the pinnacle of the team. A squad with Romario, Laudrup, Stoitchkov and Koeman, plus Guardiola, Nadal, Zubizarreta, complete thrashed another one with Zamorano, Prosinecki, Hagi, Hierro, Marin Vazquez, Michel and Butragueño. It was the end of an era for Real Madrid, and also the high-point for a Barça squad that just months later would lose 4-0 in Athens to AC Milan in the Champions League final and also get dismantled. A hat-trick by Romario, and then the goals by Koeman and Ivan Iglesias, set the final score.
La Liga 2000-2001
Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid: It was the return of Luis Figo to Barcelona, and the game was over even before it started. The stadium gave the former Cule captain one of the most noisy receptions ever recorded in Camp Nou, and the sound level never ceased during the 90 minutes. Figo was not even able to take the corner kicks for the Merengues, as the fans did not stop throwing things at him. Two years later, the game was suspended when someone threw a pig’s head at the Portuguese in a throw-in, but still, that game’s environment was nothing compared to the 2000-2001 match. Barça won thanks to goals by Luis Enrique and Simao.
Champions League Semifinals 2001-2002
Barcelona 0 -2 Real Madrid: En route to “La Novena” Real Madrid faced Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League. Real Madrid was the clear dominant force in Spain in the previous 3 years, having won the Champions League two years earlier and the league the year before. Zidane was on his first season with the Whites, and scored the first goal, with a superb chip shot over Bonano. Barça was going through one of their toughest years, as they could not find a way to battle the Galacticos, and Real Madrid seemed to get stronger and stronger every year. The game would end up with another goal by Steve McManaman that virtually qualified Real to the final. In Madrid, a 1-1 tie would make that a reality, and the team managed by Del Bosque would win it all in Paris against Valencia.
La Liga 2010-2011
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid: The greatest wake-up call Jose Mourinho ever received. The 13th game of the season brought upon the first defeat for Real Madrid, which had led La Liga with a pretty clean record until that moment (only two draws against Mallorca and Levante). But Pep Guardiola’s team went into this match in a way few times seen before, and Mourinho’s squad could not do much to contain them. Perhaps, the most surprising fact was that in a game with five goals, Messi did not score once although he was undoubtedly the MVP of the match. Villa twice, Xavi, Pedro and Jeffren were the ones’ who took the glory of scoring against the all-time rivals, but Messi –once again– was unstoppable.
La Liga 2011-12
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: The day Real Madrid secured their 32nd Liga title. Mourinho’s squad arrived at Camp Nou with a 5 point difference, so they had no danger of losing the leader spot, but a victory against Guardiola’s men would put them 8 points ahead with just 4 more matches to go. Real Madrid should a solidness they hadn’t been able to bring forth in the previous years against FC Barcelona, as they had lost to them in the Champions League, in La Liga and in the Super Cup. Only the overtime victory in the previous’ year Copa Del Rey final gave the Madridistas hope for a victory at Camp Nou that night. A goal by Khedira after a series of rebounds in the first half was equalized by Alexis. The draw was a perfect result for Mourinho, who is known to not want to risk much when in such a position. But a perfect long ball by Ozil would place Ronaldo one on one against Valdes, at the 73rd minute, and the Portuguese would silence Camp Nou with a wonderful move past the goalkeeper and powerful shot to the back of the net. Two games later, the Whites would win the league against Athletic Bilbao.