There are few sporting contests that carry quite the same passion as a Real Madrid-Barcelona clash. Their meetings regularly captivate millions of fans, not only in their homeland but across the footballing world.
As the big day approaches, countless Spaniards, including many who would ordinarily be immune from the charms of the beautiful game, get swept along by the fervour of the big event and don the colours of their favourites.
Over the last decade, with the Galactico era in Madrid and the dominance of European club football by Barça, a number of world champions have faced off. These star names include Roberto Carlos, Fabio Cannavaro and Zinedine Zidane for Los Blancos as well as Ronaldinho and some of the stars of Spain’s FIFA World Cup-winning side of 2010: Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique.
However, it is not just in recent times that the teams have had such a glittering array of stars at their disposal. Down the years some of the greatest players ever to grace the sport have taken the field for the big two, including Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Santillana, Hugo Sanchez, Emilio Butragueno and Michel for Madrid, and among others Ladislao Kubala, Luis Suarez, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman, Rivaldo and Romario for the Blaugrana.