Real Madrid and Barcelona are now just one outing away from their 250th competitive El Clasico contest, with there little to choose between the two sides when it comes to an overall record.
With both boasting big budgets and reputations that appeal to world-class performers across the planet, their respective ranks have been loaded with match-winners down the years.
Who, though, has held the upper hand in a famous rivalry that dates back to 1929? GOAL takes a look at how a couple of the biggest institutions in club football have fared in direct combat.
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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Head-to-head
A La Liga fixture at Santiago Bernabeu in March 2022 was the 249th competitive Clasico, though Madrid and Barca have met a further 33 times in friendlies and other non-competitive matches.
The overall head-to-head record of meetings between the teams has been extremely tight, with Real - who have now hit a century of successes - boasting bragging rights in competitive outings while Barca get the edge when exhibition games are added to the pot.
|Competition||Games Played||Madrid wins||Barca wins||Draws|
|Copa del Rey||35||12||15||8|
'Other competitions' includes the Copa de la Liga and Supercopa de Espana. Pre-season friendly and exhibition matches are not included.
Away from competitive action, the sample size is much smaller. There have been 33 exhibition games featuring the two sides down the years, with Barca emerging victorious in 19 of those. Real have claimed only four wins, while there have been 10 draws.
After Barca made Pep Guardiola their coach in the summer of 2008, the tide started to turn in their favour somewhat.
In La Liga, Barca won 13 of the Clasicos played after Guardiola's appointment, drawing four and losing six. They also won the 2010-11 Champions League semi-final, which was the first time the clubs met in that competition since 2002.
The loss of Guardiola from the dugout, and the departure of seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi on the field, have hindered the Blaugrana cause, but they remain fiercely competitive and continue to compete for major honours alongside old adversaries.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: The trophy cabinets
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 34 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.
|Copa del Rey||19||31|
|Supercopa de Espana||12||13|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||0||4|
|UEFA Super Cup||4||5|
|Club World Cup||4||3|
'Champions League' includes European Cup wins and 'Europa League' includes UEFA Cup wins.
Barca have won the Copa del Rey 12 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 16 times to Madrid's nine. 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.
Comparing Barcelona & Real Madrid individual honours
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 that image has been broken with both players now playing elsewhere.
The pair of superstars has battled it out year in, year out for the Ballon d'Or ever since Ronaldo decided to leave Manchester United for La Liga.
Messi surpassed Ronaldo with his six Ballons d'Or to the Portugal striker's five when he was awarded the honour in December 2019 - before going on to claim that crown again in 2021 after leaving Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi's success means that Barcelona lead with 12 Ballons d'Or to Real Madrid's 11. 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 Ronaldo and Messi's takeover. Luka Modric's 2018 victory, which saw him beat Ronaldo while Messi didn't even place in the top three, momentarily drew things level.