Lionel Messi isn’t getting any younger but that doesn’t mean the Barcelona captain isn't prepped up for the El Clasico clash against Real Madrid on Sunday. La Blaugrana have relied heavily on their skipper in the past on such occasions. This fixture, therefore, could be termed as a Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid battle instead of the El Clasico. Real Madrid vs Barcelona is usually a spectacle to behold with world-class players on the pitch but the headlines are usually grabbed by the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
With 18 goals and 12 assists, (topmost) in La Liga, Lionel Messi is still having a relatively 'average season'. However, when it comes to Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid, the Argentine is always keen on improving his already impeccable record in the El Clasico. When it's Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid, more often than not, it spells danger for the latter as Messi has been at the heart of orchestrating a few drubbings in the past.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona (3-3), 2007
Messi scored his first hat-trick against the Los Blancos back in 2007 equalling every goal scored by the home side.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona (2-6), 2009
21 years old at the time, Messi once again sent the fans at the Santiago Bernabeu into a fury with a brace as Real Madrid were hammered by a humiliating scoreline.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona (3-4), 2014
Messi grabbed his second hat-trick against Real Madrid with two penalties and a well-taken finish.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona (2-3), 2017
Another brace from Lionel Messi blew the league title wide open with a late winner. The Barcelona forward scored twice in that game as well to mount a comeback.
Lionel Messi has scored 26 goals against Real Madrid in all competitions and has caused a number of heartbreaks for the Madrid outfit over the years being on the winning side on 18 occasions. The Lionel Messi El Clasico record comes second to none and no player to have featured in the fixture comes close to the Lionel Messi El Clasico record.
Barcelona will be hoping for a boost from Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid as the Los Blancos will be without Eden Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. Catch Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid on March 1, (9 pm IST)