Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Who has the better Clasico record?

The most recent chapter in the world’s most famous rivalry saw Barca move ahead of the capital club

This March saw the 242nd competitive Clasico as Real Madrid and Barcelona faced off at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca continued their recent dominance, following up their 4-1 aggregate victory over Los Blancos in the Copa del Rey with a narrow 1-0 win.

The result follows Barca’s 5-1 win at Camp Nou earlier in the season and Real have been left reeling by the gap that has opened up between the sides.

However, despite their recent success, Barca are still chasing Madrid in a number of categories when the history of the two clubs is compared head-to-head, though they have the edge in some areas too.

Goal takes a look at how the biggest institutions in club football have compared over the years.

March’s Liga clash was the 242nd competitive Clasicos, though Madrid and Barca have met another 34 times in friendlies and other exhibition matches.

The overall head-to-head record of meetings between the teams has been extremely tight and Barca’s recent win puts them ahead of Los Blancos on 96 wins to 95 overall, but they remain level in La Liga.

Competition Games Played Madrid wins Barca wins Draws
La Liga 179 72 72 35
Copa del Rey 36 12 16 8
Champions League 8 3 2 3
Other competitions* 20 8 6 6
Total 242 95 96 51

‘Other competitions’ includes the Copa de la Liga and Supercopa de Espana. Pre-season friendly and exhibition matches are not included.

In other competitions, the sample size is smaller. Barca have the advantage in the 36 games played in the Copa del Rey, while Madrid are ahead by a hair on the rare occasions these rivals have been drawn together in the Champions League or European Cup.

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Since Barca made Pep Guardiola their coach in the summer of 2008, though, the tide has been turning.

In La Liga, Barca have won 13 of the Clasicos played since Guardiola’s appointment, drawing four and losing four. They also won the 2010-11 Champions League semi-final, which was the first time the clubs have met in that competition since 2002.

Barca’s recent period of dominance has seen them overtake their rivals in terms of their respective trophy cabinets, though Madrid remain well ahead in La Liga.

Los Blancos have won 33 league championships — a Spanish record — and are eight ahead of the Blaugrana. They are also well clear when it comes to the Champions League, with 13 to Barca’s five.

Real won the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) twice, while Barca are the most successful team in the now-defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with four triumphs. Barca did win the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – which eventually became the UEFA Cup – three times, but that was prior to its organisational takeover by UEFA.

Competition Real Madrid Barcelona
La Liga 33 25
Copa del Rey 19 30
Supercopa de Espana 10 13
Champions League 13 5
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 0 4
Europa League 2 0
UEFA Super Cup 4 5
Club World Cup 4 3
Total 85 94

‘Champions League’ includes European Cup wins and ‘Europa League’ includes UEFA Cup wins.

Barca have won the Copa del Rey 11 times more than Madrid, though, and you can see their recent strength in the fact that they are not far behind when it comes to Club World Cups — a competition that only started in 2000.

Again, a closer look at more recent history presents a more flattering picture for Barcelona.

Since the 1990-91 season, they have won La Liga 15 times to Madrid’s eight. Barca have claimed the European crown five times in the same period, with Madrid just ahead on six.

Both clubs endured a barren spell continentally in the 1970s and 1980s as English, Italian and German clubs dominated, but the difference in the Clasico competitors’ European records can be attributed to the two decades before that.

Madrid cleaned up through the early years of the European Cup, winning it five times in a row between 1956 and 1960 and again in 1966. They also dominated La Liga, winning it 18 times between 1950 and 1980 to Barca’s five.

The current era of football has been defined by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as much as it has by Real Madrid and Barcelona as clubs, though Ronaldo has since broken that image by joining Juventus.

The pair of superstars have battled it out year in, year out for the Ballon d’Or ever since Ronaldo decided to leave Manchester United for La Liga. After Ronaldo’s 2017 win, they are tied on five apiece.

Trophy Real Madrid Barcelona
Ballons d’Or 11 11

It is similarly tight between the two clubs over the course of history when it comes to this award for the best player in the world.

They are now level on 11 awards each after Luka Modric scooped the 2018 gong. Johan Cruyff — who, with three wins, is closest to Ronaldo and Messi, along with Michel Platini — won it twice in a Blaugrana shirt, and Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Hristo Stoichkov and Luis Suarez (the elder) also received it.

After Alfredo di Stefano won two and Raymond Kopa another in consecutive years in the 1950s, Madrid endured something of a barren run — something it is amusing to reflect upon now given their modern-day fame for signing ‘Galacticos’.

Their next Ballon d’Or did not come until 2000 and it may be contentious to categorise it solely as a Madrid win given it went to Luis Figo, who had spent half of the year on the other side of the rivalry before his shock move to the capital.

Ronaldo Nazario and Fabio Cannavaro were then honoured before Cristiano and Messi’s takeover. Modric’s 2018 victory, which saw him beat Cristiano Ronaldo while Messi didn’t even place in the top three, has drawn things level.

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