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Barcelona vs Real Madrid: who has most wins in El Clásico?

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernández is now 2-1 against Real Madrid in Clásico competition, although the Las Vegas friendly was an unofficial game.

Xavi's Clásico touch continues
Alejandro GarcíaEFE

There have been 249 competitive Clásicos during the long rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the most recent resulting in a 4-0 drubbing of the home side at the Bernabéu as Xavi Hernández’s work-in-progress Barça showed that they could very well be considered challengers again after a period in the Liga wilderness following the departure first of Ernesto Valverde, and secondly of the club’s greatest-ever player, Leo Messi. Following a pre-season friendly between the sides in Las Vegas, Xavi is now 2-1 against the eternal rival after returning to Camp Nou as manager, Raphinha providing the only goal of the game as the Liga giants worked up a little sweat in baking conditions.

Xavi knows a thing or two about El Clásico of course, the Barcelona manager having played in 42 during his career. That is a figure only bettered by Messi and Sergio Ramos (45), with Sergio Busquets the leader among active players with 43 Clásico appearances. Gerard Piqué has made 40 appearances and Karim Benzema 39. Since hia arrival at Camp Nou to replace the hapless Ronald Koeman, Xavi has certainly had the measure of Madrid. In two Clásicos his side have now scored five times without reply and the addition of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha will help to close the gap on Carlo Ancelotti’s side as Barça seek a first Liga title since 2018-19. However, Madrid still hold the upper hand in the Clásico stakes.

Real Madrid lead Clásico standing

Madrid’s last Clásico success was a 2-1 win at Camp Nou in October 2021, which was notable as Koeman became the first Barça manager since Patrick O’Connell in 1936 to lose three consecutive Clásicos. Unsurprisingly, it proved to be the final straw and the Dutchman was sacked a week later after a 1-0 loss at Rayo.

The win was also Madrid’s 100th triumph in official Clásico competition (which does or not include a 1903 Copa de la Coronación game, depending on who you ask), and took Carlo Ancelotti’s side to four wins ahead of Barça’s 96 (at the time) in the historical rivalry.

Barça had led 96-95 after a 1-0 triumph at the Bernabéu in March 2019 - the first time since 1931 that they had boasted more Clásico victories than Los Blancos (excluding the disputed 1903 match). However, a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou later that year was followed by four straight victories for Madrid. Because of the Copa de la Coronación dispute, Madrid are still waiting to officially become the first of the two clubs to register an undisputed century of wins in the fixture, with the current tally being 100-97 in Madrid’s favour in official competition.

There have also been 52 draws in El Clásico.

Barcelona’s curious El Clásico friendly statistic

The result of the game in Las Vegas will have come as little surprise to students of friendly matches between the sides. These are, unless otherwise specified (and we assume agreed upon between Madrid and Barça) never considered “official” matches and therefore do not count towards the overall totals of games played between the sides (or to player goal and appearance records). However, when there is nothing at stake Barça’s dominance is eye-catching: 20 wins to Madrid’s four, with 10 draws.

Taking friendlies into account, which we stress again are completely unofficial in terms of the historical standing, Barcelona have won 117 Clásicos to Madrid’s 104.


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