Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: 10 Things We Learned from Month of El Clasico
Throughout the last 18 days, Spain was treated to a football expedition with four separate El Clasico's taking place in three competitions.
In those four matches, Barcelona and Real Madrid won one match apiece, with each side playing to 1-1 draws in the other two matches.
Real Madrid were able to win their first Copa del Rey since 1992 during this stretch, but Barcelona were able to reach their second Champions League final in three years, thanks in large part to a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu in the first leg.
But there were many other major things that we learned from this matchup, and here are 10 of the things that we learned from the month of El Clasico.
Barcelona Has Started to Cool off with the Season Ending
After an incredibly hot start, Barcelona are not playing their best football at the moment and appear to be cooling off.
They were not playing their best football during these four El Clasico matches and can be beaten if they don't improve by the Champions League final.
Real Madrid Can Beat Barcelona
Even though they lost 5-0 in El Clasico back in November, Real Madrid have improved tremendously since then.
Going forward since then, Real Madrid have finally been able to beat their archrivals in the Copa del Rey final and appeared that they could beat Barcelona in the Champions League semifinal.
Even though that didn't happen, Real Madrid have improved tremendously and will have a better chance of beating Barcelona next year.
Lionel Messi Is the Best Player in the World
Even though it is nearly unanimous with football fans that Messi is the world's best footballer, some people (Sir Alex Ferguson) still think Ronaldo is better.
In the first leg, Messi was able to show his magic with two massive goals for Barcelona.
Right now, one must wonder if Ronaldo will ever be able to reach the level that Messi is at in this stage of his career.
Cristiano Ronaldo Will Be Able to Win Trophies for Real Madrid
Even though Messi will be the better footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo was finally able to score the first two goals of his career against Barcelona.
By scoring against Barcelona, Ronaldo got a massive weight off his chest and it showed in the Copa del Rey final where he scored in extra time.
Now that Ronaldo has done this, expect the Portuguese superstar to win silverware in the near future.
Referees Favor Barcelona
For years Barcelona have been accused of being favored by referees. But during this El Clasico we saw the refs clearly favor Barcelona.
The two most notable examples of this were Pepe's red card on a play that Dani Alves appeared to dive on in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal, and then there was the cancellation of Gonzalo Higuain's goal in the second leg due to a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo. On that play, Ronaldo was pushed into Javier Mascherano, causing the Argentine international to fall.
If the referees didn't help Barcelona, who knows what the final result of this matchup would have been.
Jose Mourinho Will Win More Trophies for Real Madrid
After completing a treble last year for Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho came to Real Madrid with massive expectations.
So far this year, Mourinho was able to win the Copa del Rey and get Real Madrid to their first Champions League semifinal since 2003.
Now that Real Madrid are starting to play better, expect los blancos to start winning more trophies in the next several years.
Barcelona Is the Best Football Club in the World
Right now, no one can deny that Barcelona are the best football club in the world based on talent. The Catalan side has been great throughout this year and are one of the greatest clubs ever assembled in football history.
If they win the Champions League final, it will only be another layer of icing on top of the cake.
With Time and Stability, Real Madrid Can Achieve Lofty Expectations
During this season, we saw Real Madrid start to fulfill some of the lofty expectations that were given to them by the football world.
With some more time, Real Madrid will be able to win a Champions League within the next several years.
When Combined, Barca and Real Have the Most Talented Football Club in the World
The amount of talent between Barcelona and Real Madrid is nothing short of spectacular.
From Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Carles Puyol on Barcelona to Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Angel di Maria, Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil on Real Madrid, there is a tremendous amount of talent on these two sides.
If these two sides were ever combined, we would see what would arguably be the greatest football team ever assembled in history.
El Clasico Is the Best Football Rivalry in the World
After seeing all of the hostility from all four of these matches, it became increasingly obvious that the world's best rivalry exists between these two.
With the world's best footballers, a tremendous stage, large fanbases and a storied history, El Clasico truly proved itself to be the world's best sports rivalry.
And now that Real Madrid are nearly up to the level of Barcelona, it should only continue to get better.