10 Best El Clasico Football Moments of all Time

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El Classico refers to any football match between clubs in the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey. But initially, the name was given to any football match between the rival teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

UEFA Champions League is one of the most significant and most viewed annual sporting events. Similarly, there is an abundance of memorable moments that occurred during the matches.

Among those moments, some take the spot for the most incredible and best El Classico football moments. And here we have compiled ten of those best moments in football history.

Messi versus Ronaldo
Messi versus Ronaldo (Source: Bleacherreport.com)

From two rival clubs facing off to an all-out brawl and pig head being thrown on the ground, we have it all.

So please stick with us as we present to you the ten best El Classico football moments of all time. Let’s dive right into our list without any further ado.

10 Best El Clasico Football Moments of all Time

We have prepared the list with the help of various sources from the internet like Sporf, SportsBrowser, etc. Before we dive into the details, let us look at the preview of the list in the table first.

Moments Year
10. Figo faces hostile return to Barca 2002
9. Ronaldinho’s standing ovation 2005
8. Johan Cruyff’s Arrival 1974
7. Messi vs. Ronaldo on the European stage 2011
6. Lionel Messi rubs salt on the wounds 2016-17
5. 2011 UCL Semi-final 2011
4. Mass brawl in Supercopa 2011
3. Messi/Suarez/Neymar run riot with a 4-0 win 2015
2. Raul’s Nou Camp silencer 1999
1. Copa Del Ray final 2014 2014

10. Figo Faces Hostile Return to Barca

We are starting with one of the most shocking and disturbing El Classico moments right off the bat. There aren’t many occasions where the fans turn against the player of their beloved club. However, 2002 was one such occasion.

Luis Figo had left Barcelona to join Real Madrid in 2000. The Portuguese player returned to Barca after two years but had to endure one of the most bitter and humiliating moments of his entire career.

The Barca fans had not quite forgiven Figo for joining the rival club. As emotions ran high, so did a pig’s head on the Nou Camp pitch in his direction.

Figo Faces Hostile Return to Barca (Source: Soccer Training Info)
Figo Faces Hostile Return to Barca (Source: Soccer Training Info)

When Figo came across to take a corner, a pig’s head landed near the corner flag. The debris and beer cans all targeted the once-beloved player by the Barca fans.

Many believe that it was a way of calling him a traitor. But that was also a testament to how much he was loved. The pig head was displayed as part of the German exhibition “Cult Scene Stadium” in 2004.

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9. Ronaldinho’s Standing Ovation

Now retired Brazilian professional football Ronaldinho is undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation. We have his standing ovation El Classico moment on our number 9 of the best football moments.

We do not always see the players getting standing ovations from rival fans. However, Ronaldinho‘s impressive performance in 2005 earned him a standing ovation from the whole crowd.

Ronaldinho truly gave a marvelous performance. He scored past cruising past the defenders with smooth footwork and making past Iker Casillas. He scored two individual goals, and Barcelona won the game against Real Madrid by 3-0.

Ronaldinho’s standing ovation, 2005
Ronaldinho’s standing ovation, 2005 (Source: Twitter)

When Ronaldinho scored the goal with incredible smoothness, everyone was on their feet, including Real Madrid fans. The rivals even appreciated his performance.

Ronaldinho later admitted that he did not realize the Madrid fans were applauding him. Nevertheless, it is the appreciation that only a handful of players have been able to get the joy of.

8. Johan Cruyff’s Arrival

On number 8 of the El Classico’s best football moments, we have John Cruyff’s arrival to Barca in 1974. It is one of the best El Classico moments of a vintage era.

Cruyff had chosen to sign with Barcelona over Real Madrid from Ajax. Further, he commented about him never playing for a team associated with Franco. And we’re clear about these two clubs’ rivals.

Johan Cruyff in Netherland
Johan Cruyff in Netherland (Source: Wikimedia.org)

After signing with Barcelona, Cruyff made one of the most famous El Classico victories in February 1974. He played an essential part in scoring the 5-0 victory at the Bernabeu, assisting three goals.

His arrival changed the landscape of Spanish football. Johan Cruyff revolutionized Barcelona as both a player and as a manager.

7. Messi Versus Ronaldo on the European Stage

We have another Real Madrid and Barcelona moment on our number 7 best El Classico football moment of all time. Moreover, we have two big titans of the football world face-off this time.

The question of who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, has always divided football fans. In 2011, these two players faced each other on the European stage for the very first time.

Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo (Source: Planetfootball.com)

The fans were exhilarated as they could see them going head to head against each other. Nevertheless, both the players gave a phenomenal performance.

However, the game went to Barcelona, and Messi came out on top at the time. He almost individually helped Barca to the final of the Champion League. The team won the game by a 2-0 score.

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6. Lionel Messi Rubs Salt on the Wounds

On our number 6, we have Lionel Messie’s El Classico moment, which also created one of the most iconic photos in soccer photo. Nothing like rubbing salt on the wound, and it was that moment.

In the 2017 season of the second El Classico, Messie made a late goal score that changed the whole tide of the game against Real Madrid. Both teams were tied at two goals, and then Braca caught Madrid in a great counter.

Messi shirt celebration, 2017
Messi shirt celebration, 2017 (Source: Goal.com)

At 92 minutes in the game, Jodi Alba broke away the ball, making a great pass at Messi. Then, Messi shot the ball past Keylor Navas and made a brilliant goal. Additionally, it was his 500th goal for Barcelona.

After the win, Messi celebrated his goal by removing his number 10 t-shirt and holding it up to the Madrid supports, taunting them. The exact image taken at the moment has made rounds on the internet ever since.

5. 2011 UCL Semi-final

The 2011 UCL Semi-final was another moment when one of the best El Clasico football moments was created. It was one of the intense competitions between the rivals Barcelona and Madrid.

While Pep Guardiola held Barcelona’s helm, Jose Mourinho was Madrid’s coach. Then Messi scored two late goals at Bernabeu, which gave Barca a considerable advantage.

2011 UCL Semi-final
2011 UCL Semi-final (Source: Skysports.com)

In the second leg of the game, Marcelo scored a goal to keep up with Barcelona. However, it was not enough to make a comeback for Madrid. Barcelona stood victorious against their rival.

4. Mass Brawl in Supercopa

Now that we have covered a pig head being thrown, two biggest football titans facing off each other, you might think what next. You will be surprised, and we have a mass brawl in Supercopa.

A brawl cannot be called the best, but this moment is one of the unique ones. It’s not new that tension runs high on the football field. Especially when you face your long-standing rival.

The event all started after Marcelo shockingly lunged at Cesc Fabregas. Additionally, it was the time when Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s rivalry was at its height.

Mass brawl in Supercopa, 2011
Mass brawl in Supercopa, 2011 (Source: GettyImages)

What resulted was the referee giving the Brazilian player a straight red card. Then followed the massive confrontation between almost every official from either team and the unbelievable chaos on the game field.

Mesut Ozil and David Villa were sent off the field. The Supercopa finished with Barca scoring 3-2 and was one of the memorable El Clasico football moments.

3. Messi/Suarez/Neymar run riot with a 4-0 win

On number 3 of the El Clasico best football moments, we have the iconic trio of Barcelona’s 4-0 win against Real Madrid. The trio’s absolute best performance further makes it one of the best moments in football history.

During the game, Luis Suarez made three goals with the help of Messi’s two assists. Similarly, Neymar scored his own goal for Barcelona.

Messi/Suarez/Neymar run riot with a 4-0 win
Messi, Suarez, and Neymar run riot with a 4-0 win (Source: Completesports.com)

The highlight of the game was the late second half. Messi had stepped up to take a penalty; however, he passed it to Suarez to get his third goal in the match.

The match is one of the trio’s finest moments with perfect teamwork. The 4-0 score devasted their rival Madrid for a significant time.

2. Raul’s Nou Camp Silencer

We have Raul’s Nou Camp silencer moment on number 2 of El Clasico’s best football moments in 1999. It was the moment when Real Madrid defeated Barcelona at Nou Camp.

It is always a tense moment when the two rivals come face to face. During the 1990s, Barcelona’s dream team humiliated Madrid after defeating them with a 5-0 score.

Raul Gonzalez with the silence sign after he scored against Barcelona
Raul Gonzalez with the silence sign after he scored against Barcelona (Source: Egypttoday.com)

Raul scored Madrid’s first goal at Nou Camp in five years. Barcelona had already scored one goal before then, and Luis Figo scored their second goal in the second half.

With five minutes left before the final whistle, Raul scored a tying goal. Raul immediately put his finger over his lips to “silence” the Barcelona fans to celebrate the goal. Hands down, it is one of the most epic El Clasico moments.

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1. Copa Del Ray Final 2014

Our number 1 El Clasico best football moment goes to the Copa Del Ray final between Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2014. Cristiano Ronaldo was in the stands due to injury, and it was Gerth Bale who brought glory to the team.

Madrid and Barca were both at an equal score of one goal each. At the last moment, with five minutes left before the game finished, Bale picked the ball up and went past Bartra before running into the penalty area.

Copa Del Ray final 2014
Copa Del Ray final 2014 (Source: Ibtimes.com)

Then, Bale slotted the ball past the goalkeeper from six yards out and made a great goal. His goal not only helped him win his first significant honor but was the decisive goal that helped Madrid win.

The brilliant moment of brilliance from Bale is one of the best El Clasico moments that fans of Madrid are unlikely ever to forget.


The Spanish football circuit has many other clubs with a long-standing rivalry, apart from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. The match between the teams is always an exciting affair for football fans.

One of the most-watched sporting events in the world, these Spanish football powerhouse time and again treat their fans with El Classico moments. We hope you enjoyed our list of some of these best moments.

Which El Classico moment was your favorite? Do you know of any other best moments? Do let us know!

Boby Rai
Boby Raihttps://playersbio.com/

Boby Rai

Boby Rai is a dedicated writer who specializes in capturing the essence of sporting excellence through his unique lens. As the creative mind behind numerous sports-centric projects, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of athletics, blending insightful commentary with captivating narratives.


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  • Boby's writing transcends conventional boundaries, offering readers a glimpse into the lesser-known stories.
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Armed with a passion for sports and a gift for storytelling, Boby has honed his craft through years of immersive experiences in the field. With a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, he continues to inspire and inform readers through his thought-provoking work.

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