Messi and Ronaldo Watch: Superstars Battle to Stalemate in El Clasico

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterOctober 8, 2012

Messi and Ronaldo Watch: Superstars Battle to Stalemate in El Clasico

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    El Clasico? Maybe, but after Sunday, maybe we might as well call it the Messi and Ronaldo show.

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi took over El Clasico on Sunday, with both superstars scoring twice in a 2-2 draw between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Barcelona's Camp Nou.

    The dramatic draw capped another successful week for both players and both clubs, and we've got all the details right here along with updated season totals.

Superstars Shine in Dramatic Draw

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    Cristiano Ronaldo scored first and last, and Lionel Messi hit back with two in between as Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in Sunday's El Clasico at Barcelona's Camp Nou.

    The draw preserved Barca's eight-point lead over Real Madrid in the La Liga table, but it also allowed Atletico Madrid to pull level on points atop the table.

    Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a pinpoint shot low at the near post. Messi equalized eight minutes later after a cross bounced around the Real Madrid box.

    Messi gave Barca a 61st-minute lead with a beautifully curling free kick, but Ronaldo equalized five minutes later with a composed finish after Mesut Ozil's through-ball.

    All four goals can be seen in the video at left.

    After the match, Real manager Jose Mourinho praised both players, saying they are from "another planet" (via ESPN FC):

    I think it should be forbidden to say who [is] the best player in the world because these two are from another planet. I would like my player to win [the Ballon d'Or] because he is champion of the best league in the world, but I think they're both fantastic players.

Ronaldo Hits Another Hat Trick

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    Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second straight hat trick, and Real Madrid won for the second time in as many Champions League matches by defeating Dutch champions Ajax 4-1 in Holland on Wednesday.

    Ronaldo, who had scored three goals the previous weekend in a 5-1 home victory over Deportivo La Coruรฑa, notched Real's opening goal in the 42nd minute and added two more in three second-half minutes as Real stayed atop Group D with six points.

    Ronaldo's individual highlights can be seen in the video at left.

Barcelona Win Again in Champions League

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    Barcelona maintained their perfect start the Champions League group stage with a 2-0 away victory over Benfica on Tuesday. The match was marred by a scary arm injury to Barca defender Carles Puyol.

    Lionel Messi started and played the full 90 minutes but did not score. He set up both goals, though, crossing for Alexis Sanchez's sixth-minute opener and laying off for Cesc Fabregas' match-sealing goal in the 55th.

    Barca lead Group G with six points, two ahead of Scottish champions Celtic.

    Messi's individual highlights from the match can be seen in the video at left.

Season Totals

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    Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in all competitions (11 appearances) this season for Real Madrid. That total includes eight La Liga goals in seven matches.

    Lionel Messi has scored 12 goals in all competitions (11 appearances) this season for Barcelona. That total includes eight league goals in seven matches.

Up Next

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    Cristiano Ronaldo, who suffered a minor shoulder injury during the draw with Barcelona, received clearance Monday to join the Portugal national team ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifying match against Russia in Moscow (via RealMadrid.com).

    Following the trip to Moscow, Portugal and Ronaldo are scheduled to play Northern Ireland next Tuesday.

    Lionel Messi is part of the Argentina squad for this week's World Cup qualifying matches. Argentina will host Uruguay on Friday before playing at Chile next Tuesday.

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