Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid clash in LaLiga this weekend (Live stream on ESPN+ Sunday 3pm ET, US only), while the local rivals, separated by five miles and just a handful of boroughs, repeat their eternal derby duel.
While the first Madrid derby of this season may have jumped on them early, both form and history are definitely on Real’s side. Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti’s stellar side come into play as both reigning Spanish champions and early leaders, having flown from the traps with five wins in their opening five league games and eight of eight in all competitions.
Before Sunday’s game, there were 170 league games between the two clubs, with Real winning 90 games against Atletis 40 and the same number (40) ending in a draw. A total of 513 goals were scored by the teams, with the former clearly outstripping the latter at 295 to 218.
Across all competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in the Madrid derby than any other player with 25 in just 35 games. In fact, the next six players on the list all played for Real, with Paco Campos providing Atleti’s highest entry in sixth thanks to the 12 goals he scored against Los Blancos during the 1940s.
The latest clash is set to wrap up this weekend’s round of LaLiga fixtures and to whistle a little more we’ve compiled a handpicked selection of the best Madrid derby moments from one of Spain’s most intense and passionate fixtures.
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1. Raul scores the first derby goal in Madrid in 1992
Raul Gonzalez will forever go down in Real Madrid folklore as a true giant (ranked third behind Ronaldo and Karim Benzema with his 323 goals in 741 games), but it’s worth noting that the legendary striker actually opened his Madrid derby account by he VS hit Los Blancos.
The year was 1992 and having progressed through the academy at Atleti, the 14-year-old continued to prove his claim as one to watch by scoring in a youth game against his bitterly despised local rivals. However, just months later, Raul was sacked and allowed to join Real after Atletico president Jesus Gil decided to eviscerate the club’s youth squad to save money.
Raúl González, leyenda de Real Madrid, vistiendo la camiseta del Atlético de Madrid de joven 😮 pic.twitter.com/x0w66Qwa5d
— SoyaReferee (@SojaReferee) December 13, 2016
Jump forward a couple of years and that decision struck Gil right back when, in his first full season as a Real Madrid regular, Raul scored three goals in two league games against Atleti in 1996/97 when Fabio Capello’s side were crowned LaLiga champions 27th time while Los Colchoneros washed up a distant fifth.
2. Real is star-studded galactic Riot, 2003
Atletico suffered the shame of being relegated to the second tier for two seasons between 2000 and 2002, meaning that El Derbi Games against Real were excluded.
After being promoted back to LaLiga for the 2002/03 season, the first derby reunion between Atlético and Real ended in a respectable 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu. However, after bringing an ominously stacked team to the Vicente Calderon the following June, Reals galactic inflicted a humiliating 4-0 loss on their crosstown rivals in front of their own fans.
Real’s team oozed with talent as Iker Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Michel Salgado, Fernando Hierro, Claude Makelele, Guti, Ivan Helguera, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Raul (the latter two both scoring two goals) shone together a shocked Atletico side with a young Fernando Torres.
3. Atlético wins the Copa del Rey, 2013
Somewhat past the peak of the 2010s, Atlético quickly re-established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in both Spanish and European football with the arrival of Diego Simeone as head coach in December 2011.
After seventh place the previous season, Simeone ensured an improved fifth place in LaLiga in his first half of the season as manager at Vicente Calderon, but above all ensured that the campaign ended with a win against Athletic Club in the Europa League final ended in a title .
The success continued into Simeone’s first full season in charge as the Argentina coach lifted the first national trophy of his tenure, guiding Atlético to their 10th Copa del Rey title and the first since 1995/96. Just to top it off, the Rojiblancos lifted the trophy after beating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in the final.
4. Atletico end LaLiga derby drought, 2013
Before Atletico faced Real in the LaLiga derby in September 2013, the former had endured 14 long years of hardship without managing to win a single league game against their neighbours.
In fact, 23 games in 12 seasons had elapsed since Atletico last clinched victory in 1999 thanks to a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu. Something had to change and that change once again proved to be the commitment of the combative and charismatic Simeone.
After last season’s Copa del Rey triumph, Simeone needed a league game to break the old hex as his tenacious side struggled to a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu (with Diego Costa scoring the crucial goal just 11 minutes later) responsible for the in his first league derby colchoneros.
5th UCL Final 2014 comes to an exciting conclusion
The highlight of the 2013/14 Champions League was the first time in history that two teams from the same city met in the final.
The game itself was pretty mundane for the opening 93 minutes as grizzled centre-back Diego Godin gave Atletico a 1-0 first-half lead, then pushed back into the heart of Simeone’s red-and-white striped defensive barricade to hold Real Bay to the final whistle.
🗣️ “I said to myself, ‘It can’t end like this.'”
2⃣ Sergio Ramos contributed to his crucial goals against Bayern in the semifinals, forcing extra time with a final equalizer in Lisbon against rivals Atlético. ‘La Décima’ would become reality 🏆@SergioRamos | @realmadriden | #UCL pic.twitter.com/sGC7BMlNgT
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 24, 2021
The plan seemed to have worked Los Blancos — who eagerly chased after “La Decima” [their 10th European Cup/UCL title] — besieged the Atletico goal without making significant progress. That was until the last second of regulation time, when a towering header from Sergio Ramos sent the final into overtime.
Ramos’ ridiculously dramatic equalizer sparked a rocket under Real, who, fueled by a heady mix of adrenaline and obvious destiny, further eroded his opponent’s once-unwavering resolve. Indeed, another three-goal flush compensated for Simeone’s charges in extra time as Real won 4-1 in Lisbon to clinch their historic title.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo’s last Madrid derby goal, 2018
Ronaldo has played against Atlético more times than any other club in his career, having played against them colchoneros 35 times. In fact, the Portuguese superstar has proved to be something of a scourge for his old Madrid derby opponents as he has also scored an impressive 25 goals, including four hat-tricks, while also providing nine assists.
Ronaldo’s second most frequent opponent is Barcelona, who he has played against 34 times to date and has scored 20 goals.
The last goal Ronaldo ever scored against Atletico during his incredibly successful stint in the Spanish capital came in April 2018: a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu, in which he opened the goal only for Antoine Griezmann to come just four minutes later restore balance.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4746981/real-madrid-vs-atletico-madrid-the-best-moments-from-a-rivalry-in-laligachampions-league-and-more The best moments from a rivalry in LaLiga, Champions League and more