May 6, 2018 marked the end of an era.
Almost three years ago it was the last Clásico where both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were on the pitch. The Portuguese said goodbye to Los Blancos after the 2017/18 season and moved to Juventus Turin. Finally, he signed the scorers list in FC Barcelona’s 2-2 La Liga game against Real Madrid. (Service: La Liga results and fixtures)
Ronaldo’s departure causes Messi to break
Messi also met back then – in an inimitable manner. He dribbled over two real defenders on the opponent’s edge of the penalty area and sank the ball in the short corner. The duel will be reissued on Saturday. Messi will once again have to do without his great rival Ronaldo. (La Liga: Real Madrid – FC Barcelona, Saturday 9 p.m. on LIVETICKER).
Messi versus Ronaldo. This duel shaped not only the Spanish league, but also world football for over a decade. Both superstars pulverized all scoring records nationally and internationally. They pushed each other to new heights. Ronaldo’s move to Juventus caused a break.
Because it is noticeable: Since Ronaldo left there have been seven Clásicos, in six of which Messi was on the field, only once he was missing due to a forearm fracture. The shocking result: zero Messi goals. Is the Argentinean lacking the incentive from Ronaldo?
Strange Clásico lull from Messi
In total, “La Pulga” has scored 26 goals in 44 Clásicos. However, the number of goals has recently steadily decreased. In the first 27 duels against Los Blancos, Messi scored 21 times (0.77 goals / game), in the last 17 games only five times (0.29 goals / game), most recently not at all six times in a row.
Only once before had Messi been without a goal in six consecutive Clásicos.
Messi’s last Clásico?
There may be no further Messi hit at all. The Clásico on Saturday could be his last, Messi’s contract expires in the summer. Last year, the Argentine publicly flirted with his farewell.
The Catalans around new President Joan Laporta want to keep the 33-year-old by all means, but have limited resources due to the devastating financial situation.
Barca desperately need Messi goals against Real Madrid. The runner-up is currently second behind Atlético Madrid, one point behind. With a win, the royal two points behind would be shaken off for the time being. (Service: Table of La Liga)
Barca without Messi – that’s hard to imagine as a football lover. With a goal in the (maybe) last Clásico, the championship and a possible cup win, “La Pulga” could give himself and his fans a decent farewell.
To do this, however, he should break his Clásico curse as much as possible.