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A Brief Moment in El Clásico History: Champions League

Zinedine Zidane is one of the players that haunted FC Barcelona in the past.
Zinedine Zidane is one of the players that haunted FC Barcelona in the past.

Two La Liga Clásico's have already been played, the Copa del Rey Clásico has been decided, but there's still plenty of Barcelona vs Real Madrid games left. Within the context of the UEFA Champions League, these two teams will meet twice in a span of six days.

Despite the 56 year history of the most prestigious club competition in the world, the tournament has only produced six El Clasico's, four of them coming in the semi-final. Unlike in the King's Cup, Barcelona have a losing record against their eternal rivals in the Champions League. The Catalans have only won one game, while being on the losing end three times. The other two games ended in a stalemate. Real Madrid also hold a healthy lead in the goals scored section, outscoring FC Barcelona 12-7.

With only six games to analyze, the best way to do so is in chronological order.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid faced-off for the first time in the semi-finals of the 1959-60 season, then called the European Cup. Real Madrid were led by two of its all-time greats, Alfredo di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás.

Barca failed to cope with the two and allowed them to score four of Madrid's six goals scored in the series. Los Blancos comfortably advanced to the finals, winning both games by the score of 3-1. In the final, Real Madrid routed Eintracht Frankfurt to lift their fifth consecutive European trophy.

The following season the two sided met in the first round of the knockout stages, but this time the result was different. Barcelona learned that by stopping Puskás and di Stéfano they had a chance to beat the Spanish capital side. La Blaugrana's defense kept the two off the scoresheet in both encounters and progressed to the next round.

The first game, in Madrid, ended in a two-all draw, but the return leg resulted, in so far, Barcelona's only registered victory over Los Blancos in the Champions League. FC Barcelona went on to advance all the way to the final where they eventually lost to the Portuguese side Benfica.

Football fans had to wait over 40 years to enjoy another El Clásico in a European competition. In the 2001-02 season, the two sides were drawn against each other in the semi-finals. The first incarnation of Los Galácticos all but decided the tie after defeating Barcelona at the Camp Nou by a score of 0-2. The Catalans put up a better fight in Madrid, but all they could muster was a 1-1 draw.

In the final, the Zinedine Zidane-led Real Madrid were pitted against Bayer Leverkusen. When it was all and done, the Whites lifted yet another Champions League trophy, their ninth overall.

Simply put, in the Champions League Barcelona have a losing record against Real Madrid and every time the two sides have met in the semi-final, Real Madrid went on to win the tournament. History isn't on Barcelona's side, but I believe we have learned a valuable lesson in the Copa del Rey, you can't always rely on history.

In case you missed the previous two Clásico history lessons:

Part 1: La Liga El Clásico history

Part 2: Copa del Rey El Clásico history

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