Neymar, Messi, Bale and Ronaldo Watch: Big Goals and Bigger Results
It was a big week for the La Liga giants. Real Madrid managed to thrash their Champions League opponents Schalke 6-1 before drawing 2-2 with city rivals Atletico. Barcelona only featured in one match but saw off challengers Almeria 4-1.
For the most part, the big four of Spain did exactly what they do: provide entertaining football and decide matches.
In this week's edition of the "Neymar, Messi, Bale and Ronaldo Watch," we will see some big moments as well as some thrilling results.
All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com.
The Brazilian was not able to score a goal or give an assist this week, but boy, was he exciting to watch.
In Barcelona's lone match this week, Neymar was absolutely lethal in the final third. The 22-year-old won eight dribbles and managed to get off six shots. The Almeria defense was unable to contain him, and his pace helped put the Catalans in good positions.
The only thing Neymar did wrong was not score or give an assist. His statistics look great this week, but Barcelona are expecting more production out of him. However, it wasn't needed this week.
What a big week it was for Gareth Bale. Not only did the Welshman help Real Madrid win 6-1 against Schalke, he also proved that he is very much a force in this Real Madrid side after weeks of inconsistency.
In that huge victory in Germany, Bale was one of the biggest stars on display. The 24-year-old managed to score two phenomenal goals as well as give an assist. He won a total of five dribbles in the match and was always a big threat.
Bale had a much more toned-down performance in Sunday's 2-2 draw to Atletico Madrid.
In his 90 minutes of play at the Vicente Calderon, Bale only managed to win two dribbles and get off the same number of shots. He did provide an important assist, but for large portions of the match, he was missing in action.
Lionel Messi was as close to perfect as a player can get this weekend as he led Barcelona in their 4-1 victory over Almeria. The win moved them a mere point off the top of the table and couldn't have come at a better time.
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal of the match—and what a spectacular strike it was.
But the Barca man did so much more as well. The Argentine finished the game having gotten off 11 shots while winning five dribbles. He was a constant headache for Almeria, and it showed.
The 26-year-old has a knack for demanding attention from opponents, and that stayed true on Sunday. Almeria was unable to fully focus on Barcelona as a whole as Messi kept the eyes on himself.
It was a big win for the Catalans who needed three points after watching Real Madrid and Atletico draw earlier in the day. The La Liga race is as exciting as ever and will likely come down to the last few weeks of the season.
It was a week to remember for Cristiano Ronaldo who managed to score three goals in total while providing an assist as well.
In Real Madrid's 6-1 victory over Schalke, Ronaldo was an absolute monster. The 29-year-old won seven dribbles and got off 10 shots in the game. He scored a brace and gave an assist, but in all honesty, he could have finished the game with five goals.
The Portugal international played yet another major role on the weekend when he scored the equalizer to help Real Madrid draw 2-2 against their city rivals Atletico.
There were many times when the Atletico defense managed to keep Ronaldo at bay, but in the end, he did what he does best. The lone goal on Sunday kept Los Blancos on top of the La Liga table, and it couldn't have happened without Ronaldo.
Which star had the biggest week? Ronaldo and Messi were near perfect, but who had the biggest impact? Leave your thoughts and comments below!