El Clasico Fixtures Released
El Clasico Fixtures Released for the Upcoming Season
Last season’s three El Clasico fixtures were exciting affairs with plenty of goals. They were also tense games with 16 yellow cards in total, and a red card issued in each one of the games. Barcelona won 2 out of the 3 matches at the Bernabeu with a tie at the Camp Nou. The new season of La Liga will be the beginning of a new era for the Spanish league, with the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, and the implementation of VAR. With the league starting on the third weekend of August, the first El Clasico match will be hosted by Barcelona on the 28th October, with the return game in Madrid on the 3rd March.
While Barcelona’s performance last season was not one of their best campaigns, despite a first-place finish in the league and winning El Clasico twice at the Bernabeu, they crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Roma and watched their greatest rivals lift the trophy. The Catalans, however, have a chance at revenge this year, with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Los Blancos and no player in sight to replace him. Sportskeeda notes that Real Madrid’s players are also not getting any younger, with their core squad of Luka Modric, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Keylor Navas and Karim Benzema all on the wrong side of 30.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have added youngsters like Malcolm, Arthur Melo and Clement Lenglet to play alongside Lionel Messi, who for the first time will be taking the captain’s armband as the club’s veteran. After 9 exciting seasons, his legendary La Liga rivalry with Ronaldo has come to an end, and Messi will be looking to guide the new talents after the departure of the illustrious Andres Iniesta. Messi will also be looking to improve upon his less than stellar World Cup performance. Coral illustrates how Argentina barely advanced as runners up out of their group with one win and a draw. Argentina were then eliminated by France in the Round of 16, and Messi’s total of one goal in the tournament was much less than anyone expected.
Messi will not only be looking to top his past performance but will also be looking for a new rival. With potentials like Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard, and even former teammate Neymar Jr. eyed by Los Blancos, new talent is definitely needed at Madrid, especially with Bale’s never-ending injury woes. Last season Barcelona finished 17 points ahead of Madrid, and now with the departure of both Ronaldo and Zidane, the Bernabeu side might be feeling a little vulnerable. New manager Julen Lopetegui will be looking to bolster his side, but as of yet no sure candidate exists. Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde, on the other hand, has earmarked Chelsea’s Willian as a priority for next season, due to the departures of Paulinho and Deulofeu. Additionally, with VAR implementation for the first time ever, this La Liga season will be radically different, if the impact it had at the World Cup is any indication.
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Feature article exclusively written for wmgevents.com
Prepared by: Michelle Preston