Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet in LaLiga this weekend (Stream live on ESPN+ Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, in the US only) as the local rivals, separated by five miles and only a handful of city blocks, once again resume their eternal derby duel.
While the maiden Madrid derby of this campaign may have started them off early, both form and history are certainly on Real’s side. Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti’s formidable side go into the game as both Spanish champions and league leaders, having escaped the traps with five wins from their first five league games and eight from eight in all competitions.
Before Sunday’s match there had been 170 league meetings between the two clubs with Real winning 90 games to Atleti’s 40 and the same amount (40) ending in draws. A total of 513 goals have been scored by the two teams, with the former comfortably outscoring the latter with 295 to 218.
Taking all competitions into account, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in the Madrid derby than any other player, with 25 in just 35 games. Indeed, the next six players on the list have all played for Real with Paco Campos giving Atleti their highest ranking in sixth thanks to his 12 goals against Los Blancos during the 1940s.
The final clash is set to close out the round of games in LaLiga this weekend and to whet your appetite a little more, we’ve put together a selection of Madrid derby highlights from one of Spain’s most intense and passionate competitions.
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1. Raul scores the first goal in the Madrid derby, 1992
Raul Gonzalez will forever go down as a giant in Real Madrid folklore (with his 323 goals in 741 games third only to Ronaldo and Karim Benzema), but it’s worth noting that the legendary striker really opened his account in the derby Madrid scoring AGAINST. Los Blancos.
The year was 1992 and having come through Atleti’s academy, the 14-year-old further staked his claim as a spectator, finding the net in a youth game against their bitterly despised local rivals. However, just a few months later Raul was released and allowed to join Real after Atlético president Jesus Gil decided to ax the club’s youth team to save money.
Raúl González, legend of Real Madrid, wearing the camiseta del Atlético de Madrid de joven 😮 pic.twitter.com/x0w66Qwa5d
— SoyReferee (@SoyReferee) December 13, 2016
Flash forward a few years and that decision immediately came to haunt Gil when Raul, in his first full season as a regular for Real, scored three goals in two league games against Atleti in 1996-97 as Fabio Capello’s side crowned LaLiga champions. the 27th time, while Los Colchoneros washed out a distant fifth.
2. Real Madrid stars Galacticos Run Riot, 2003
Atletico suffered the ignominy of relegation to the second division for two seasons between 2000 and 2002, meaning that El Derby games with Real were out of the cards.
After winning promotion to LaLiga for the 2002-03 season, the first derby reunion between Atlético and Real ended in a decent 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu. However, after taking an ominously stacked team to the Vicente Calderon the following June, Real Galacticos inflicted a humiliating 4-0 defeat on their crosstown rivals in front of their own fans.
Real’s side were producing positive talent as Iker Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Michel Salgado, Fernando Hierro, Claude Makelele, Guti, Ivan Helguera, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Raul (the latter two scored two goals each) combined for to dazzle. a shell-shocked Atletico team that featured a young Fernando Torres.
3. Atletico win the Copa del Rey, 2013
With Atlético seeing their fortunes slip somewhat on the cusp of the 2010s, the arrival of Diego Simeone as manager in December 2011 saw them quickly re-established as a force to be reckoned with in both Spanish and European football.
After finishing seventh the previous season, Simeone oversaw an improved fifth-place finish in LaLiga during his first half-season in charge at the Vicente Calderon, but more importantly also ensured the campaign ended with silverware by beating Athletic Club in the final of the Europa League. .
The success continued in Simeone’s first full season in charge as the Argentinian manager won the first domestic trophy of his tenure to lead Atleti to their 10th Copa del Rey title and first since 1995-96. Just to cap it all off, the Rohiblancos they were able to lift the trophy after beating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in the final.
4. Atletico’s LaLiga derby-ending drought, 2013
Before Atlético faced Real in the LaLiga derby in September 2013, the former had endured 14 years of hardship without managing to win a single league game against their neighbours.
Indeed, it had been 23 games in 12 seasons since Atlético last managed to claim the spoils thanks to a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu in 1999. Something had to change and that change once again proved to be recruitment of the aggressive and charismatic Simeone.
After last season’s Copa del Rey triumph, Simeone needed a league game to break the ancient hexagon as his hardened side were held 1-0 at the Bernabeu (with Diego Costa grabbing the vital goal just 11 minutes from time). in his first league derby in charge Colchoneros.
5. UCL final leads to thrilling finish, 2014
The 2013–14 Champions League final marked the first time in history that two teams from the same city met in the final.
The game itself was fairly mundane for the first 93 minutes with grizzled centre-back Diego Godin putting Atletico 1-0 up in the first half and then re-entering the heart of Simeone’s red-and-white striped defensive barrage in a bid to keep the Real. trick until the final whistle.
🗣️ “I said to myself, ‘It can’t end like this.'”
2⃣ Sergio Ramos added to his crucial goals against Bayern in the semi-finals, forcing extra time with a last minute equalizer in Lisbon against rivals Atletico. “La Décima” would come true 🏆@SergioRamos | @realmadriden | #UCL pic.twitter.com/sGC7BMlNgT
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 24, 2021
The plan seemed to work Los Blancos — which they eagerly pursued”La Decima” [their 10th European Cup/UCL title] — laid siege to the Atlético goal without making significant inroads. That was until the last second of injury time when a towering header from Sergio Ramos sent the final into extra time.
Ramos’ ludicrously dramatic equalizer properly ignited the rocket under Real, who, fueled by a heady mixture of adrenaline and apparent fate, continued to erode the once steadfast resolve of their opponents. Of course, another three-goal flurry was inflicted on Simeone’s charges in extra time as Real won 4-1 in Lisbon to claim their historic title.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo’s last goal in the Madrid derby, 2018
Ronaldo has faced Atletico more times than any other team during his career, having played against them Colchoneros in 35 cases. Indeed, the Portuguese superstar has proved something of a scourge for his old rivals in the Madrid derby, having also scored an impressive 25 goals, including four hat-tricks, while also providing nine assists.
For the record, Ronaldo’s next most frequent opponent is Barcelona, with whom he has played 34 times to date, scoring 20 goals.
The last goal Ronaldo ever scored against Atlético during his incredibly successful spell in the Spanish capital came in April 2018: a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu where he opened the scoring only for Antoine Griezmann to restore parity just four minutes later.