Cristiano Ronaldo since the 2009/10 season, when he arrived at Real Madrid, always at least one of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi participated in the El Clasico. But for the first time after almost a decade, neither the Portuguese player nor Messi will be present in the clash between Spain’s two biggest sides.
This data points to the possible end of an era in Spanish football, marked in the last ten years by fierce competition between the two players of indisputable. Between 2009 and 2018, both teams faced each other 18 teams in the La Liga, 6 times in the Spanish Supercup and the Spanish Cup and twice in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo in those matches, missed more clashes than Lionel Messi. In fact, Messi always played at least one minute of the 32 minutes. Only in one match, he played as a substitute, in 2015/16, when Barcelona defeated Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu 4-0.
On the other hand, Cristiano, of the 32 possible duels between the two clubs, was a starter in 28 of them. He was substituted on 2 occasions. In the other 2, he did not participate, once due to suspension in the Spanish Supercup and then because of injury in the Cup final.
Thus, after 10 years of both superstars shining in one of the biggest derbies in Europe, both will be absent. One due to injury and the other due to a summer move to Serie A champions Juventus. It is now up to the Blaugrana and Los Blancos to try and cope with the absence of the two best players in the world.
Click on the gallery to see the goalscoring statistics of both Ronaldo and Messi in the El Clasico throughout the years.