Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet again on Sunday, October 24 at the Camp Nou in week 14 of La Liga in Spain. In one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, it will be the first edition of ‘El Clásico’ without the star presence of Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, now teammates at Paris Saint Germain after having been rivals for years.

Despite those notable absences, this will be a derby that will have plenty of excitement, as it could be decisive for the future of both teams, especially for their coaches. Ronald Koeman, who is having a rough go as coach of Barcelona, and for Carlo Ancelotti a loss may bring some unnecessary heat on him to lose to a depleted Barcelona side.

With all those ingredients, this match between Barcelona and Real Madrid becomes unmissable, and promises to be one of the closest in the rivalry’s history. To watch the game, live from the United States, you just have to click here and tune in to the ESPN+ broadcast. From our end we will hype you up for the Spanish Derby with 25 facts every soccer fan or casual fan should know before watching this Barcelona - Real Madrid.

25. Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head

Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos and Casemiro (Getty Images)

Real Madrid and Barcelona have played each other a total of 245 times. Los Merengue’s lead the head-to-head series with 98 wins, while Barça has won 96 times. In 52 matches the game ended in a draw.

In terms of the number of goals scored, 807 goals have been converted in the Spanish Clasico. Real Madrid has the advantage with 409 goals over the 398 that Barcelona scored in the history of El Clasico.

24. Tale of the tape

Sergio Busquets and Luka Modric (Getty Images).

Barcelona and Real Madrid have two different realities at the moment, the Blaugrana are not even within the top four places in the league standings, and today would be out of European cup competitions. Memphis Depay is the main point of attack for Ronald Koeman’s side to try and get something going with a win over their archrivals. A lot rests on the result of this match, even the Netherlands’ coach’s future.

For Real Madrid they will arrive at the Camp Nou as one of the protagonists of La Liga and with Karim Benzema, in a state of grace after winning the Euro Nations League. Unlike his colleague, manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has far more credit to support any adverse outcome.

23. First Clasico that will not feature either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo 

Ronaldo (Getty Images)

You need to go back to 2003 for the last game between Barcelona and Real Madrid that did not feature either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. In that season La Liga was won by Real Madrid which featured Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Raúl, and Roberto Carlos, among others. The last game before Messi would play in a Spanish derby ended 1-1 with goals by the Brazilian Ronaldo and Luis Enrique. 

22. All the national team players on both sides 

International flavor (Getty Images)

For Barcelona, the players called up regularly to their national teams: Sergiño Dest (USA), Marc Ter Stegen (Germany), Ronald Araujo (Uruguay), Eric García (Spain), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Frenkie de Jong (Holland), Memphis Depay (Holland) and Martin Braithwaite (Denmark). The cases of Luuk de Jong (Holland) and Sergio Agüero (Argentina) are particular, since due to injuries they could not be in some call ups.

On the Real Madrid side: Thibait Courtois (Belgium), David Alaba (Austria), Eder Militao (Brazil), Federico Valverde (Uruguay), Casemiro (Brazil), Luka Modrić (Croatia), Karim Benzema (France) and Eden Hazard (Belgium).

21. Games played at the Camp Nou

Camp Nou (Getty Images)

Barcelona and Real Madrid met 117 times at the Camp Nou. There, the home side was victorious in 61 games, with 26 draws and the visitor won a total of 30 games.

Of the 61 wins for Barcelona against Real Madrid in their home stadium, 50 correspond to La Liga matches. Meanwhile, Los Merengue took home all three points in ‘El Clásico’ in 21 matches and ended up drawing 20 times.

How will the next match at Camp Nou end? To make sure you don't miss of the action watch 'El Clasico' live from the United States, you can tune in to the ESPN+ broadcast right here.

20. Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos share the record for appearances 

Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos (Getty Images)

Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos hold the record for most appearances in ‘El Clásico’. Both players played the most important match in Spain 45 times. Messi tied the Spanish central defender in his the last game against Los Merengues, taking advantage of the absence of his now PSG teammate.

19. How Barcelona has fared without Messi

Lionel Messi (Getty Images)

As strange as it may seem, Barcelona has not done that badly without Messi on the field. In the last two games the Argentine superstar was absent, Barcelona ended getting something from Real Madrid. In the 2015-2016 season, the Argentine star was out due to injury in a match played in the Bernabéu. That day, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 4-0 with superb performances by Neymar Jr., Luis Suárez and Andrés Iniesta. Then, in the 2017-2018 season, Messi again missed ‘El Clásico’ due to injury, but Barcelona did not seem to miss him, as they thrashed Real Madrid 5-1. The last time that the new PSG star did not start a clasico was in the 2018-2019 Copa del Rey, when he entered the match from the bench in the first leg, which ended 1-1. In the return leg, Barça thrashed Real Madrid 3-0 and reached the final.

18. How did Real Madrid fare without Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos gets a red card (Getty Images)

Real Madrid saw one of their all-time great players leave the club during the summer transfer window: Sergio Ramos. Leader and born winner, the longtime Madrid center-back entered a contract renewal war with President Florentino Pérez, which gave way to a free transfer to PSG of France.

Still even without Ramos, Real Madrid still have a formidable squad and won the last clasico against Barcelona 2-1 behind goals by Benzema and Tony Kroos.

17. Real Madrid took home the last match played at the Camp Nou 

Federico Valverde scores against Barcelona (Getty Images)

The last time Barcelona and Real Madrid met at the Camp Nou was in October 2020, and the game ended in a 3-1 victory for the visitor in what was the first Clásico without fans in the stands due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As for the game, Federico Valverde opened the scoring quickly, while Ansu Fati put the match level in the first half. In the second half, Sergio Ramos, from a penalty, once again put Madrid ahead, and Luka Modric, who came on as a sub, sealed the victory for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

16. Who will play their first Spanish derby

Sergio Agüero (Getty Images)

The game on October 24 will be the first Barcelona - Real Madrid match without Lionel Messi or Sergio Ramos, which will undoubtedly take away some of the anticipation of which the Spanish Clasico has become accustomed to. However, there will be players who will experience a special day since they will debut in their first Barcelona - Real Madrid.

For Barcelona, defender Eric García, and forwards Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong will play their first match against Real Madrid. It could also be the debut for Nico and Gavi. As for Real Madrid center-back David Alaba will have his first match against Barça.

It will undoubtedly be a unique match for all of them, as well as for all soccer fans. That's why the ESPN+ broadcasts will be unmissable! Click here to watch the Spanish Clasico! 

15. The top scorers in the history of El Clasico 

Lionel Messi (Getty Images)

The top scorer in the history of ‘El Clásico’ between Barcelona - Real Madrid is Lionel Messi, with 26 goals in 45 games. He is followed by Alfredo Di Stéfano and Cristiano Ronaldo, both with 18 goals.

Raúl González has 15; Fernec Puskas, César Rodríguez and "Paco" Gento, with 14; later, Carlos Santillán, with 12; Luis Suárez, with 11; and several with 10, Karim Benzema, Hugo Sánchez, Juan Gómez González, and José Samitier Vilalta.

14. Current players who have scored the most in the Spanish derby 

Karim Benzema (Getty Images)

On the Barcelona side, with the departure of Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez a year earlier, the top scorer in ‘El Clásico’ is Gerard Piqué, with four goals. The first one he scored was in 2008-2009 and the last one in the 2017-2018 season. For Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, with 10 goals. The last one coming in the 2-1 victory at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium.

13. Cristiano Ronaldo, the only player to score in six consecutive games

Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo, in addition to being third in the historical table of El Clásico scorers, is the only player to have scored in six Barcelona-Real Madrid games in a row, all of them in the year 2012, as incredible as that seems. The first being on January 18, in a 2-1 defeat in the first leg of the Copa del Rey. The second was in the second leg of the series, in a 2-2 draw. The third was more than valuable, since it allowed Real Madrid to win the league with a 2-1 victory. On August 23 of that year, Cristiano scored in a 3-2 defeat in the Spanish Super Cup, and on the 29th of the same month he scored the goal in the second leg that gave Madrid a 2-1 victory. He then scored two more in October in a 2-2 draw for La Liga, breaking Iván Zamorano's record.

12. Players who have played for both sides

Luis Figo (Getty Images)

The first of them was Alfonso Albéniz, who went from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 1902. Then, over the years, Juan Hilario Marrero, Ricardo Zamora, Samitier, Schuster, Luis Milla, Michael Laudrup, Prosinecki, Hagi joined, Celades, Luis Enrique, Alfonso, Dani, Julen Lopetegui, Nando Muñoz, Miquel Soler, Ronaldo, Samuel Eto'o and Javier Saviola.

One of the biggest players to change sides was Luis Figo, who in 2000 went from Barcelona to Real Madrid to become the first of the Galacticos signed by Florentino Pérez. With this signing the president fulfilled his electoral campaign promise to sign the Portuguese star. And all to the surprise of the soccer world, because even Figo himself had denied he would sign with Real Madrid.

The transfer was carried out and the Portuguese winger became one of the most detested players by Barcelona fans ever. They even threw a pig’s head at him!

11. Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Predictions

Sergiño Dest (Getty Images)

Today you can bet on anything from the over/under to how many yellow cards there will be before the end of the first half.  And although a lot depends on chance, sometimes statistics can help make a decision, so it is worth bearing in mind that the most repeated result in the history of the Spanish derby was 2 to 1 in favor of Real Madrid (18 times). The second is the 1-1 tie (16 times), while the third is the 1-0 draw in favor of Barcelona (13 times).

If you live in the United States stay in the know minute by minute and watch the game live on ESPN+.

10. What is the economic situation of Barcelona

Joan Laporta (Getty Images)

Much was said about the economic situation of Barcelona, which has caused so many complications in recent months. So much so that Barcelona had to part with without question their greatest player, Lionel Messi.

A few days ago, La Liga informed the remaining clubs that Barça has complied with the league’s economic rules and does not register debts with employees, clubs, or public entities, nor are there any complaints about unpaid salaries to players of the institution. In addition, with the release of figures like Messi and Antoine Griezmann, Joan Laporta was forced to cut the squad's budget to accommodate the club's finances.

9. Florentino Pérez and the Super League fallout 

Florentino Pérez (Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, Florentino Pérez breathed a bit easier when UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin reversed progress on legal proceedings against rebel clubs who wanted to create the European Super League.

As a result, UEFA will not continue legal proceedings or sanctions on Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, the three surviving institutions of the project that threatens the stability of the Champions League, so far, the most important tournament at club level in Europe.

8. Ronald Koeman has not beaten Real Madrid yet

Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)

Since his arrival at Barcelona, things have not gone well for the Dutchman. And unfortunately for Koeman neither has his record in ‘El Clásico’. Since taking over as coach at the Catalan club, Barcelona have faced Madrid twice. The first was 3 to 1 win in favor of Real Madrid with goals from Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric, while Ansu Fati had tied things temporarily. The second game was also a victory for Los Merengue, this time 2-1, with goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos.

7. Ancelotti knows how to win these games

Carlo Ancelotti (Getty Images)

In his second stint as Real Madrid coach the Italian has already faced Barcelona 5 times with mixed results. In the 2013-14 season, Ancelotti faced the Blaugrana on 3 occasions, two for La Liga (where Barcelona won 2-1 and 4 to 3), and one for Copa del Rey, where his side won 2 to 1, but was also crowned champion. In the 2014-15 season both clubs only met in La Liga, where they won one each: 3 to 1 for Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and 2 to 1 for Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

6. Full capacity at the Camp Nou

Camp Nou (Getty Images)

After two games for La Liga in which there were no fans in the stadiums (both were Real Madrid victories), the most important game in Spain will once again have fans in attendance. And not only that: there will be full capacity for ‘El Clásico’ on October 24.

This was confirmed by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés. "We have recovered 100% capacity for cultural events and outdoor sports activities. We are back to full capacity. It will be essential, of course, to wear a mask," Aragonés announced last Tuesday, October 12.

One more detail that makes this edition of ‘El Clásico’ an unmissable event. If you are in the United States and want to enjoy this spectacular match, ESPN+ offers you the option to see it live by clicking here.

5. The 11 most expensive players in El Clasico

Frenkie de Jong (Getty Images)

When it comes to market value, with the departure of Lionel Messi from Barcelona, the most expensive player is still Blaugrana. Frenkie de Jong, who has a price of 90 million euros. The second and third places are occupied by two Real Madrid stars: Casemiro (70 million) and Federico Valverde (65 million). Sharing fourth place are the two goalkeepers, Marc Ter Stegen and Thibaut Courtois (60 million both).

Sixth and seventh on the list are defenders David Alaba and midfielder Eduardo Camvinga (55 million each), both from Madrid. Eighth is Ferland Mendy (50 million), also from “La Casa Blanca”. The new star of Barcelona Memphis Depay (45 million) is ninth, while coming in tenth and eleventh are Brazilian Vinicius and the Belgian Eden Hazard (40 million), two more from Real Madrid.

4. Players who scored a hattrick in El Clasico

Luis Suárez (Getty Images)

There are 14 players who have converted at least one hattrick in the history of El Clasico. The first of them was Jaime Lazcano, for Real Madrid, in the 1930s. Those who scored three goals twice in a game are Sañudo, Vantolra, Amancio, Iván Zamorano and Lionel Messi (the last one in March 2014).

Joan Ramón i Pera, Jesús Narro, César, Evaristo Macedo, Puskas, Gary Lineker, Romario and Luis Suárez (2018, last record of a hattrick) scored three goals once in the Spanish derby.

3. The worst stretch

Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Without a doubt, the duels between Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho were the springboard to make ‘El Clásico’ the most important game in club soccer around the world. Nonetheless during that time, it was Barcelona who had Real Madrid’s number, Real Madrid went seven consecutive games without being able to beat Barcelona, from April 2011 to April 2012. That season in 2012 was where Madrid’s fortunes changed and on April 21 at the Camp Nou, the Special One got his victory by the score of 2-1.

2. The biggest poundings

Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

Barcelona and Real Madrid have starred in some spectacular wins over the history of ‘El Clásico’. The most important pounding without a doubt is that of 1943, when Los Merengue crushed Barcelona with a shocking 11-1 win. Ten years before Madrid had already won by a score of 8-2. While in 1951, Barcelona retaliated and humiliated Madrid with a 7-2 win, their most lopsided victory to date.

Real Madrid beat Barcelona twice by 5-0 (1953 and 1995), and once by 5-1 (1963).  Barcelona on the other hand won 6-1 (1957) on one occasion, 6-2 (2008) on another, three times 5-0 (1974, 1994 and 2010), and once 5-1 (2018).

1. 'El Clásico': A Worldwide Passion

More than 650 million viewers watch the Spanish Clasico (Getty Images)

It is not an exaggeration to say that when Real Madrid and Barcelona face each other, the world stops, from the United States to China, all soccer fans around the globe want to take time to see this match.

To such an extent that according to pollsters, it is the second most watched television event in the world, surpassed only by the World Cup final. More than 650 million viewers, divided into 180 countries, is the average number of spectators who watch ‘El Clásico’ in recent years, thus beating major sporting events such as the finals of the Olympic Games or the Super Bowl.

That is why you cannot miss a second of this sporting spectacle. If you happen to be in the United States, click here and enjoy all the emotions of one of World soccer’s biggest games! Watch ‘El Clásico’ live on ESPN+.