No derby in world football combines quality and passion quite like El Clásico. Meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona are often tense, explosive affairs and – because of the individual quality on both sides – usually quite evenly-matched.
However, over the years we’ve seen plenty of one-sided Clásicos where one team has obliterated the other with the pace and power of their attacking play. Neutrals may love a tightly-contested affair, but there’s nothing Real and Barça fans enjoy like a derby day pasting.
So take heart, Julen Lopetegui – you’re not the only man to feel the force of a Clásico thumping.
5. Real Madrid 4-1 Barcelona (2007/08)
Barcelona generously formed a guard of honour for their title-winning opponents, but somebody should probably have told them they didn’t need to keep it up for 90 minutes. Raul and Arjen Robben made it 2-0 in the early stages, and second half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ruud van Nistelrooy completed the humiliation before Thierry Henry’s consolation.
Frank Rijkaard was probably headed for the exit anyway but this result made absolute sure. In his stead, Barcelona appointed a fresh-faced young coach whose only previous experience was as manager of Barcelona B. Clearly, this Pep Guardiola bloke wouldn’t last long.
Real Madrid fans, you might want to stop reading at this point. This is as good as it gets…
4. Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona (2015/16)
Real Madrid and Barcelona were separated by just three points when they met for the first Clásico of the season, with many people believing Real had the advantage due to a Lionel Messi injury which saw him named on the bench. Instead it turned into a bloodbath as Luis Suarez and Neymar proved too hot to handle even without their esteemed colleague.
Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta had already put the Blaugrana 3-0 up before Messi came on to demoralise Real even further. He played his part in Suarez’s second and Real’s only saving grace was that the Argentine couldn’t add his own name to the score sheet. Isco‘s late red card summed up their miserable day.
It turned out to be Rafa Benitez’s only Clásico – he was sacked in early 2016 and replaced by Zinedine Zidane.
3. Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid (2018/19)
It may have been the first Clásico since 2007 to feature neither one of either Cristiano Ronaldo or the injured Lionel Messi, but that narrative was quickly forgotten as Barcelona took advantage of Real Madrid’s disarray.
Luis Suarez loves playing against Real Madrid and he bagged a hat-trick on the way to an emphatic victory. One can only imagine what the score might’ve have been had Messi played.
The defeat was Real’s worst at the Nou Camp since 2010 and the five-match winless run on which they find themselves is their worst in La Liga since 2009. It will be a miracle if Julen Lopetegui is still in a job come the end of the week.
2. Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona (2008/09)
Less than a year after their 4-1 thrashing at Real’s hands, Barcelona returned to the Santiago Bernabeu and this time it was they who delivered the footballing lesson. Guardiola’s tiki-taka had well and truly taken hold by this point and Real’s ageing defence could not live with the pace of their opponents’ play.
Messi scored twice and created another but this was a team performance of the highest order. Xavi delivered a masterclass from midfield, Thierry Henry got a brace of his own with two classy finishes and the centre back pairing of Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique were both on target as well.
This was not Barcelona’s biggest derby win of the 21st century, but it was surely their most memorable.
1. Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid (2010/11)
Real Madrid went to the Nou Camp top of the league and in high spirits, having dropped just four points in their first 12 games of the season. They left with their tails between their legs, having once again been the victims of a tiki-taka blitz from their arch-rivals.
Xavi and Pedro put the home side 2-0 up with 17 minutes and with Messi at his imperious best, Barca clearly weren’t done. The Argentine set up the third and fourth goals for David Villa before Jeffren Suarez made it 5-0, sealing Barça’s biggest win in El Clásico since 1994 and the heaviest defeat of Jose Mourinho’s managerial career.