Real Madrid v Barcelona: Messi and Ronaldo’s seasons so far
There’s been plenty of drama this term
On Saturday afternoon Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet competitively for the 236th time.
El Clasico has taken on a new level of global stardom since Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo began pushing each other to a another realm of footballing greatness.
But as they prepare to face off at the Santiago Bernabeu the two players have endured vastly contrasting fortunes this term.
Ronaldo has struggled, netting just four league goals to Messi’s 14.
Indeed there are whispers that age is creeping up with Ronaldo, who turns 33-years-old in less than two months’ time.
Here, the Coral News Team runs through the two superstars’ seasons so far…
After landing a La Liga and Champions League double last May, Real were sitting pretty over the summer as Kings of Spain and Europe.
What’s more, the core of Zinedine Zidane’s squad all remained at the club.
In Barcelona, Lionel Messi saw Paris Saint-Germain upset the establishment with the world-record purchase of Neymar.
It meant Barca’s famed MSN trio was a leg down, and threatened to derail their entire preparation for the campaign ahead.
The early weeks
Things went wrong right from the off for Ronnie and Real. The Portugal ace was handed a five-game ban for pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup.
It meant Ronaldo missed the first four league games of the season. Zidane’s men failed to win twice during his absence to drop crucial points early on.
Barca though, flew out of the blocks to collect 12 points from 12, with Messi netting five times.
Ronaldo’s return was expected to spark a Real revival, but that hasn’t been the case.
In fact, the former Manchester United man has failed to net in eight of his 11 league appearances this term, with Zidane’s men losing twice since his comeback.
It’s been business as usual for Messi though. The Argentine hit four in the 6-1 win over Eibar, and is sitting pretty in the race for Spain’s Pichichi Trophy. Barca are still unbeaten, too.
The El Clasico odds
Real and Ronaldo are under major pressure.
If the Portugal international can find his best form, then a title fight could yet be on the cards. Lose, however, and it’s surely game over before Christmas.
Coral have Ronaldo at 3/1 favourite to bag the opener for what would be his 18th El Clasico goal.
But Messi rules the roost in this fixture, and is 7/2 to net first and claim his 25th versus Real.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing