Santiago Bernabeu. Matchday 12. 11-19-2005. Wanderley Luxemburg and Frank Rijkaard, the coaches, and Iturralde González, the referee. That was not just any Real Madrid Barcelona (0-3). No. It was the first for Sergio Ramos and Leo Messi. The two most classic footballers who have played over time, 45, in the history of an incomparable rivalry that amounts to 245 games.
Directly, one in front of the other, they have faced 42 opportunities and between them they created a hostile antagonism that caused moments of maximum tension with very hard tackles, head-to-head verbal confrontations and score adjustments that were pending for subsequent commitments. They also sometimes ended up shaking hands and exchanging their shirts. The Rosario amassed 19 wins, 14 for the Sevillian and nine draws. Today, both of them, in their first season away from the Bernabéu and Camp Nou, share a dressing room at PSG.
From that first time, Sergio and Leo climbed the steps to the top and beat all the records. Ramos surpassed the 37 classics by Hierro, Raúl and Iker; 42 from Gento and 43 from Manolo Sanchís Jr. Messi did the same with Iniesta’s 38, Piqué’s 39, Busquets’s 40 and Xavi’s 42. They stayed hand in hand and could not say goodbye as they were released, in the same meeting. The last of the defender was at the Camp Nou on 10-24-2020. Zidane’s Real Madrid beat Koeman’s Barça (1-3) and he scored the second goal, from a penalty. The last of the striker was on the lap, at the Alfredo di Stéfano, with the same technicians, but with Sergio injured. The whites also won (2-1).
The classics of Sergio Ramos. Its 45 games are divided into four competitions: 31 in the League, seven in the Cup, six in the Super Cup and one in the Champions League, with a balance of 15 victories, 10 draws and 20 defeats. Throughout these 16 years he only lost three, two due to suspension and the last due to injury. He scored five goals and gave three passes on goal. He was expelled up to five times and almost always with Messi on the way. Three for a direct red and two for a double warning. He saw a total of 22 yellows.
The classics of Leo Messi. Their distribution is similar: 29 in the League (18 goals), eight in the Cup, six in the Super Cup (6) and two in the Champions League (2). Of his 26 goals, 15 of them at the Bernabéu, 10 were penalties, and all make him the top scorer in the history of the classics ahead of Di Stéfano and Cristiano Ronaldo, both with 18 goals. Leo didn’t dial in any of the last six dates. He sealed two triplets, five doubles and in 10 games he stayed in the unit. In addition, he gave 14 goal passes. Real Madrid was his fourth favorite victim after Sevilla, Atlético and Valencia. The three games he missed were due to injury.
The Bernabéu applauds Ronaldinho. Sergio and Leo’s first classic ended with an iconic image: the stadium applauding Ronaldinho’s third goal, who had already scored 0-2. The fans Juan Sánchez Gómez and his son, standing up, represented a scene that is already part of the history of Real Madrid-Barcelona. That first night Sergio played central, with number 4, forming a tandem with Helguera and with Míchel Salgado and Roberto Carlos on the wings. Leo wore the 30 you saw today at PSG and completed the attack with Eto’o and Ronaldinho. He was very active. He gave the first goal pass to the Cameroonian, another was annulled and Casillas took a shot from him. Roberto Carlos suffered in the first person the impudence of the Argentine, who in the 70th minute was replaced by Iniesta.
Leo’s first triplet. Messi’s goalscoring debut in a classic came the following season, at the Camp Nou (3-10-2007). Three goals in a great game that ended in a splendid 3-3 and in which Sergio Ramos also scored with a header. Rijkaard and Capello were the coaches. The whites went ahead with both from Van Nistelrooy. Messi tied. The Dutchman repeated. Also the Argentine. Sergio from head to pass from Guti put the 2-3 and Leo signed the third tie in the last minute to pass from Ronaldinho.
Goleada and kick of Sergio. On 11-29-2010, Monday to be exact, one of the most classic classics was experienced. Sergio and Messi took control of the maneuvers with the permission of Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho, the other two great protagonists of the duel. Barça win (5-0) without so many from Messi, who did see a yellow card. It was also received by Sergio, who was finally expelled for a hard tackle to the Argentine and an immediate push to Puyol and Xavi in the middle of a nasty tangana. That match left too many open wounds for the future.
A 3-4 dream with three of Leo. 03-23-2014. Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid with Ancelotti on the bench and the BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) in the lead against Barça de Martino and Neymar-Messi-Iniesta in attack. The Catalans went ahead with a goal from Iniesta. The whites responded with two goals from Benzema. Messi with the left to pass from Neymar made it 2-2. Cristiano, from a penalty, 3-2. In the 64th minute, Sergio Ramos knocked down Neymar, who cost him the card. Leo transforms the 3-3 and 20 minutes later, also from a penalty, raises the 3-4 to the scoreboard.
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