Extracted from the ever excellent Swiss Ramble
A couple of weeks ago Barcelona and Real Madrid produced an enthralling 2-2 draw in El Clásico with two goals apiece from their superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It seemed appropriate that the latest match in a series of titanic struggles finished level, as there has been little to separate the two Spanish giants recently.
Their dominance in La Liga has become unquestioned, as they have shared the last eight league titles between them, Barcelona winning five times, while Madrid have been victorious on three occasions, including last season.
In Europe, Barcelona have led the way, winning the Champions League twice in the last four years. Although Madrid have not been quite so prominent recently, they have reached the semi-finals of the last two tournaments, and they have won the trophy more than any other club (nine times).
Despite an uncharacteristically nervous start to the season by these two powerhouses, few would bet against La Liga once again turning into a two-horse race.
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