The El Clasico is set for Saturday and players of both sides are gearing up for the crucial game. The fixture could turn out to be the most important game in the first half of this season in the La Liga. If Barcelona can get victory at the Bernabeu, the title would likely return to the Catalan side at the end of the season.
If Real Madrid can get victory, then the gap would be cut short and the race still open for others. Valencia and Atletico Madrid are still in the race so a victory for the home side would ensure full competition until the end of the season but a loss could affect the other teams psychologically.
Gareth Bale, a British star is expected to influence the outcome of the game. He played very well when he came on against Gremio at the Club World Cup. The Welsh man would play a key role if Zinedine Zidane’s men are to get the much needed win.
Looking at other recent top Britons that have influenced the El Clasico, there are:
1. Michael Owen. The natural goalscorer played in the fixture on April 10, 2005 for the Vincent del Bosque-led side. Owen played alongside Raul and Ronaldo De Lima as the team sought to reduce the gap against Barca, just like now. They got the 4-2 win with Owen beating Victor Valdes.
2. David Beckham. The former England international played in that game. He was dominant for Los Blancos, getting two assists. Sergio Ramos credits Beckham for his set piece brilliance, revealing that he spent considerable time practicing with the dead ball specialist.
3. Steve McManaman. The Briton would never be forgotten for his goal in the 2002 Champions League victory over Barcelona in the semi-final first leg. The chip helped them defeat Barca in the last minute. Real won the game on aggregate and then went on to win the title.