This past weekend's El Clasico was everything we thought it would be and more.
La Liga powers Barcelona and Real Madrid exchanged blows for 90-plus minutes at Camp Nou, Spain, scoring four goals in all and leaving the field with nothing settled. It ended in a 2-2 draw.
Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo equalized in the second half, scoring twice in the match to cancel out Lionel Messi's two scores for Tito Vilanova and Barca.
Although nothing was decided in the end, we certainly learned a couple of things from this fall's epic El Clasico showdown.
Let's get to it.
In a match that ended 2-2, only two players scored. Lionel Messi was brilliant during the middle of the match, netting two goals. Messi's first leveled the match and his second, a beautiful strike on a free kick, put Barca ahead.
Messi truly is the greatest player on the planet. The way he carves up defenses, and his unrivaled accuracy on free kicks make him a rare talent and an elite superstar. He can score in a variety of ways, and always delivers for his side.
On the other side, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Madrid, opening up with the match's first goal, and then finding a clutch second-half equalizer to earn Madrid a hard-fought away draw. Ronaldo may not be considered the best in the world when pitted against Messi, but he's certainly worthy of being in the discussion.
In 14 matches for Real Madrid this season, Ronaldo has scored 16 times. Messi has scored 12 times this season in 10 matches with Barcelona. Like it or not, these two stars are the best the sport has to offer and their individual rivalry on the pitch makes the battle between these two clubs must-see television each and every time.
Football's Best Rivalry
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid has developed into the best rivalry in football over the years, largely because of the additions of Messi and Ronaldo.
The two European powerhouses have met three times in the last two months. Barca won the first 3-2 at home, Madrid won the second 2-1 at home, and the most recent match ended in a draw. There's no separating these two clubs. It's a totally even rivalry.
Even last year's meetings went down to the wire and saw similar back-and-forth results, with Madrid winning the final matchup last spring. Rarely, if ever, will Barca or Madrid win by more than one goal. Instead, tight finishes and exciting outcomes are always the case, which makes for a rivalry that even casual football fans can enjoy.
When you combine that with the fact that this matchup features two clubs with proud history and so many superstars, it's hard to argue that Barcelona vs. Real Madrid isn't the best rivalry in football.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more El Clasico.
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