Jose Mourinho has revealed that the chance to challenge Barcelona was one of the main reasons for him to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2010.
The flamboyant coach feels that La Liga is arguably the best competition in the world when it comes to the top teams, and believes the rivalry between both clubs is pushing them to new heights.
"We are talking about Barcelona and Real Madrid, two great teams. Pick any other team in the world, and they would not finish in the top two in La Liga," Mourinho told AS.
"And that's exactly why I joined Real Madrid. Because it's not easy to challenge Barcelona. It's very hard to be successful in this competition.
"Life's much easier in any other league. Any league where you are not locking horns with Barcelona is easier. Barca are the main reason why Madrid got to where we are now, because they set the bar very high.
"Barcelona's era of winning consecutive Liga titles is over, but their cycle has not come to an end yet. They are still a great team and so are Madrid.
"The rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona is a blessing for football. I don’t have any figures but I’m sure the Spanish Supercopa had a bigger audience than many Champions League games last term."
Madrid won the Supercup on the away-goals rule after recording a 2-1 win at home following a 3-2 loss in the first leg.