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5 Unknown facts about El Clasico

  1. Michael Laudrup’s switch

Michael Laudrup was one of the most graceful and elegant players ever to bless the Spanish league. Playing for Barcelona under Johan Cruyff, Laudrup was one of the club’s most important players. Winning three league titles consecutively, Barcelona thrashed Madrid 5-0 in the El Clasico in 1994, to go on and clinch their fourth title. Cruyff decided to drop in the European cup final in 1994 which they went to lose 4-0 to AC Milan. This angered Laudrup, and he went on to join their arch rivals and surprisingly the very next season, he was part of the Madrid side that won 5-0 in the El Clasico. He also went on to win the title that season with the Los Blancos, his fifth consecutive La Liga title.

  1. The introduction of Johan Cruyff

Almost 20 years after Madrid snatched away Di Stefano from the hands of Barcelona amid plenty of controversies, Barcelona managed to sign Johan Cruyff in 1973 from Ajax. The Dutchman had an instant impact as he scored once and assisted in three other goals that lead to a convincing 4-0 win in his first ever El Clasico. As a manager too, Cruyff enjoyed a lot of success in the El Clasico courtesy his Dream Team that involved Ronald Koeman, Pep Guardiola and Michael Laudrup.

  1. Franco’s demise

General Franco held brutal dictatorship in Catalonia, and it was only after his demise, that the Catalans heaved a sigh of relief. The El Clasico in 1975 was immediately after this event, and it was then when Barcelona clinched a narrow one-goal victory scored late in the game. The win created unimaginable scenes of celebration as it marked a significant event in the history of El Clasico.

  1. 11-1 scoreline in 1943

The 11-1 scoreline in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey in 1943 will be remembered for years to come. But the events that resulted in the scoreline always added more spice to the El Clasico. Having won the first leg 3-0, Barcelona were in the driving seat, but since Spain was under the dictatorship of General Franco, Madrid was the powerhouse in the country, and a lot of wrongdoings came from the Madrid fans. In the second leg, where Barcelona travelled to Madrid, the players were threatened by the fans, the police and the director of State Security before they entered the pitch. The Barcelona players feared for their life while playing and that is what resulted into such a crazy scoreline.

  1. It started as a friendly

It is unbelievable to imagine that a match of such high intensity and rivalry, first started out as a friendly. When the King of Spain, Alphonso XII came of age in 1902 and to celebrate the occasion, the Castilian club organised a tournament inviting teams from different parts of the country which included Catalan club Barcelona and Basque club Vizcaya. Barcelona won the first ever El Clasico beating Madrid 3-1 but went on to lose the tournament to Vizcaya. In the initial years, Barcelona dominated this fixture and only with time the battle got intense and unpredictable.

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