Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal against Rayo Vallecano during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona March 17, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino(SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Barcelona and Real Madrid share arguably the greatest rivalry in all of soccer. Not only are the two sides the fiercest rivals of all time, but they also feature the two best players of their generation.
On one end is Lionel Messi, the consummate star of Barcelona. On the opposite end of the battle is Cristiano Ronaldo. The two will renew their respective rivalry in at least two head-to-head matches. One of those games will be the Copa del Rey Final, which will take place on April 19.
Both players have had their fair share of memorable games against one another. Latinos Post will showcase a two-part feature, which examines these two superstars' best games against their hated rivals. In the first edition, we will look at Lionel Messi's two finest performances against Real Madrid.
Spanish League Match on March 10, 2007 at Barcelona
This match was extraordinary for a number of reasons. First of all, it featured an up-tempo affair between both sides. Real Madrid took the lead on three different occasions but Messi found a way to get his team even each time. The big moment of course came late in the game with the score favoring Madrid 3-2. Messi received a pass outside the box and then used his terrific speed to race into the area and fire a shot into the far post to tie the game and complete his hat-trick at the 88th minute. Aside from scoring the three goals, the Argentine superstar was all over the place causing confusion in Madrid's defense.
Champions League Semifinal First Leg on April 27, 2011 at Madrid
Barcelona would eventually go on to win the tournament but before that it was forced to take on its hated rival in a hotly anticipated semifinal. Messi of course proved to be the star and scored both goals in the first leg; both goals came late in the match in what looked to be a 0-0 game. The first goal, which came in the 76th minute, was a redirection of a cross from the right wing. The second goal came at the 87th minute and was a display of Messi's artistry. The Argentine took the ball in the midfield and raced past FIVE Madrid defenders before slotting the ball past goalie Iker Casillas on the far post.
Watch it below:
Spanish league match on Oct. 7, 2012 at Barcelona
This is easily one of the greatest Clasicos of recent memory as it featured Messi and his rival Ronaldo at the peak of their powers. Both superstars scored two goals in this game but Messi arguably scored the more aesthetically pleasing of the goals. The first goal came in the 31st minute and tied the score at 1-1. The ball bounced around in the Madrid box before Messi ran in and fired it into the net past Casillas. The second goal was a moment of consummate beauty as Messi fired a free kick past Casillas to give Barcelona a 2-1 lead. Madrid would tie it up with another Ronaldo goal, but Messi's feats would not be forgotten on this night.
What were Ronaldo's best Clasico performances? Click HERE.