The clasico, Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona, is under a week away. On November 21 the teams clash at the Santiago Bernabeu and for Rafa Benitez and Luis Enrique Martinez it’s fundamental that their key players arrive in shape – the BBC and MSN.
LAST TIME OUT
The last match between these teams took place on March 22 2015, with Barcelona winning 2-1 at the Camp Nou. Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr had 78 goals while Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were on 77. Including the number of shots against the woodwork (9-10) they were equal, and they were valued practically the same too on Transfermarkt, 260m vs 250m.
Eight months later, the six protagonists duel in different circumstances. Barcelona’s attack is now worth 280m compared to Madrid’s 250m.
Leo Messi is covering quickly, hoping to overcome his knee injury before the Clasico. He has scored 6 and provided 3 assists in 10 official games.
Luis Suarez has benefitted, from Barcelona’s point of view, from his international suspension. He’s recharged his batteries during the breaks for FIFA fixtures and scored 13 goals with 7 assists in 17 games.
Neymar, meanwhile, is returning from Brazil. He has shown he can be a reference point in the absence of Lionel Messi. However he is not likely to return to Barcelona training until Friday. He has 13 goals and 7 assists in 14 games.
41 games, 32 goals, 17 assists
Cristiano Ronaldo has his usual spectacular statistics, but it has not been enough to ward off the debate about his game. His attitude on the pitch implies there are problems and he is not happy with Rafa Benitez, the coach. However, he has 13 goals and 2 assists in 15 games.
Gareth Bale is in his third season at Madrid and still suffering from physical difficulties. He was not picked for international duty to give him a rest and he arrives at the Clasico with 2 goals and 5 assists in 7 games.
Karim Benzema is surrounded by controversy, for being implicated in the plot to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena, his France team-mate. His performance was exceptional until he got injured. He has 8 goals in 8 games.