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Who are the current Real Madrid and Barcelona players who have played the most El Clásico games?

In both the Real Madrid and Barcelona squads there are players who are veterans of this classic fixture in Spain’s football calendar.

Vinicius encara a Serginho Dest tras irse de Busquets en el Clásico Barcelona-Real Madrid de la primera vuelta de LaLiga Santander.

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It’s the game that every Real Madrid and Barcelona player want to play and the one that fans look forward to more than any other. This afternoon’s Clásico will be the 250th installment of this fierce, ongoing rivalry between two clubs who have won 17 of the last 20 LaLiga titles between them - a duopoly that has only been broken three times - twice by Atleti and once by Valencia...

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Some players are no strangers to the pressure and hype before, during and after a Clásico. Leo Messi and Sergio Ramos starred in the most meetings between Madrid and Barça - 45 of them. Sergio Busquets, Karim Benzema and Gerard Piqué are the only members of the current squads who could get near or even overtake that figure.

We take a look at the Clásico veterans - the players who have played the most Real Madrid-Barcelona games and are still active:

Ter Stegen (16)

The German goalkeeper joined Barcelona from Borussia Mönchengladbach in July 2014 and got his first taste of the Clásico in October of that year - he watched the side, with Claudio Bravo in goal, lose 3-1 at the Bernabéu from the subs’ bench. His first game against Real Madrid didn’t come until a couple of seasons later - a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, memorable for Sergio Ramos’ last gasp equaliser on 90 minutes.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
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Marc-Andre Ter StegenPressinphotoGetty

Toni Kroos (20)

Oozing class and composure, the Real Madrid midfielder has hardly missed a Clasico since his first encounter with Barça in October 2014. He ended on the winning side as Madrid cruised to a 3-1 victory - the first of nine wins he has toasted against Barça. He will be hoping to get into double figures today.

Toni Kroos
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Toni KroosDeFodi ImagesGetty

Dani Carvajal (19)

For home-grown players, El Clásico is even more special. For a player like Dani Carvajal, born in Leganés in the suburbs of Madrid, nothing tastes as sweet as a victory over the archenemies. So far, he’s won eight, drawn three and lost nine.

Luka Modric (26)

With over a decade at Real Madrid, Luka Modric has not missed many meetings with Barcelona and has starred in some unforgettable ones - from the tail end of the Mourinho-Guardiola era to the Copa del Rey final in 2014. He had only been at the club for a few weeks when the first Clasico cropped up in October 2012, he was an unused sub but played the full 90 minutes of the reverse fixture at the Bernabeu and supplied the assist for Sergio Ramos’ winner.

Jordi Alba (33)

We will have to wait and see whether Jordi Alba starts today’s game but he is in the squad and definitely will be on the bench. Against Madrid, he has won 10, drawn seven and lost 16.

Jordi Alba.
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Jordi Alba.PressinphotoGetty

Karim Benzema (41)

The French forward relishes these clashes with Barcelona - the club he has faced and scored against the most during his career. His goal tally stands at 11 with another 10 in assists to his team mates. He has been on the winning side 13 times and lost 18. He missed Madrid’s last encounter with Barça, a friendly in Las Vegas during the pre-season, so he will be really up for this.

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Gerard Piqué (42)

Piqué is another player for whom El Clásico isn’t just any old game. The images of him grinning from ear to ear, holding his outstretched hand aloft to the stands after the 5-0 manita in 2010 showed just how much beating Madrid means to him. He was a first team regular during his debut season but watched his first Clásico from the dug-out. Not that he would have minded too much - he made his bow in style, putting the seal on a 2-6 win at the Bernabeu by scoring Barça’s sixth goal in one of the most momentous meetings of recent years.

Sergio Busquets
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Sergio BusquetsSoccrates ImagesGetty

Sergio Busquets (43)

Busi made his first appearance in a Clásico as a 20-year-old in December 2008, coming on as a sub for the last half hour, replacing Eidur Gudjohnsen in the 2-0 home win. Since then he has won every major honour in the game for club and country. He has savoured 20 blaugrana victories against Real Madrid but has never found the net against the old foes. This will be his 44th Clásico and as he will be out of contract next June and with MLS beckoning, it will be one of his last run-ins with Madrid.

Sergio Ramos and Messi.
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Sergio Ramos and Messi.Dani SánchezDIARIO AS

All-time top Clásico appearances

Leo Messi - 45

Sergio Ramos - 45

Sergio Busquets - 43

Xavi Hernández - 42

Paco Gento - 42

Manolo Sanchís - 42

Gerard Piqué - 42

Karim Benzema - 41

Andrés Iniesta - 38

Fernando Hierro - 38


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