One of the biggest fixtures in the world has witnessed some great names walking down the pitch.
As world football gears up for yet another heated El Clasico as the decade draws to a close. It must be stated that some of the greatest names in the history of the sport have put on the jersey for either side and have left a lasting impression in the history of this much-celebrated fixture.
Though there are still doubts surrounding the political spectrum and the circumstances under which the game will be played, the first Clasico of the season promises to be an eventful affair given that both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF are level on points at the top of the table and both sides would want to settle for nothing short of a win.
In this piece, we take a look at the five highest goalscorers in the history of this fixture.
5. Cesar Rodriguez
Having scored 232 goals, Cesar Rodriguez was the highest goalscorer for Barcelona for several decades before Lionel Messi took over his feat in 2012. He won five La Ligas in his prestigious career, most of them coming in his 16-year stint with Barcelona. He was a part of the Spain squad for the 1950 World Cup.
In El Clasico, he has 14 goals with 12 of them coming in La Liga and another two in the Copa del Rey.
Raul is an undisputed legend for Los Blancos who left his stamp on the club for 16 seasons between 1994 and 2010. Raul, a Real Madrid academy product, was always a part of the Madrid frontline as Galacticos came and Galacticos left.
One of the greatest Spanish players of all time, he has 323 goals for Real Madrid and was the highest goalscorer since he left the club until Cristiano dislodged him from the list. He has six La Liga titles and three Champions League victories to his name.
With 37 appearances, he is fourth on the list of most El Clasico appearances. He has, however, 15 goals to his name in the biggest fixture in club football.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
The greatest goalscorer in Real Madrid’s history is third on the list and has 18 goals to his name in El Clasicos. He has scored nine times in La Liga fixtures, five times in Copa del Rey and four times in the Spanish Super Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo has the record of being the highest consecutive goalscorer. He scored 7 goals in 6 consecutive matches between 2011-12 season and 2012-13 season.
The fixture has lost some weight since his departure from Real Madrid to Juve in the last season and a half and both Messi and Cristiano have taken El Clasico fixtures to a new high in the 21st century as it often ended up being a show run by both those stalwarts of the modern game.
2. Alfredo di Stefano
Often regarded by many as one of the greatest players to step foot on the pitch, along with Ferenc Puskas, Francisco Gento and Jose Zarraga, Di Stefano was the reason behind the unrivalled domination of Los Blancos in the 1950s.
He is the sixth-highest scorer in La Liga history and the third-highest scorer in Real Madrid history behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul.
El Clasico was especially event when it came to Di Stefano given his controversial move to Real Madrid from Argentina where Barcelona had claimed to sign him first but there was plenty of dispute surrounding the move and Real Madrid ended up with him.
A 27-year-old Alfredo Di Stefano made his first appearance in the white jersey of Madrid in a Clasico where his hattrick defeated Barcelona 5-0.
He has 18 goals in El Clasicos, 14 of them coming in La Ligas.
1. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has rewritten pretty much every record in the book since his debut for Barcelona in 2004 and it is no surprise that he stands out as the most dominant player in the history of El Clasico.
He has 26 goals to his name. He also has the highest assists in this magnificent fixture, having assisted 14 times.
Messi pretty much announced himself to the world when he scored a hattrick against Real Madrid as a 19-year-old. With another hattrick, he also has the most hattricks in the fixture alongside Jaime Lazcano, Santiago Bernabeu, Paulinho Alcantara and Ferenc Puskas.
With at the very least a couple of seasons still left in him, it is only logical that he will extend his stellar domination in the biggest fixture in world football further.