Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Messi eyeing 500 as Barca bid to reignite season in Clasico

Messi eyeing 500 as Barca bid to reignite season in Clasico Messi eyeing 500 as Barca bid to reignite season in Clasico
Kristopher Love | 21 April, 2017, 20:04

On Tuesday, Pique tweeted a laconic ellipses right after Cristiano Ronaldo scored Real's go-ahead goal against Bayern Munich despite being in an offside position.

Barcelona strategy was to delay their appeal to the TAD until Friday (21 April) in order to have some chances for Neymar to play El Clasico. As the home team in the last fixture, with partner brands appearing throughout the Nou Camp, FC Barcelona generated 87% ($37.4 million) of the total sponsorship value while Real Madrid made-up 13% ($5.1m). "It is a special game, it is the biggest game in the world and the players know it, the club know it, the fans know it", he said. "It is huge, every player wants to play it, and people have been talking about it for the past month". He has 45 goals in 45 games in all competitions, including six in his last six games.

On that occasion, in March 2014, Messi netted a hat-trick to help his side to a memorable 4-3 victory against a ten-man Madrid side.

Messi has been more than comfortable when playing at the Bernabeu, where he has 12 career goals. They have three more games than Barcelona with their league game in hand against Celta Vigo and two Champions League semi-finals to contest.

If he scores twice again on Sunday, Messi will reach his 500th goal in official matches with Barcelona.

The 25-year-old was unavailable for the 3-2 win over Real Sociedad at the weekend, but the Spanish champions were hoping to have him back for the top-of-the-table clash with arch-rivals Real Madrid on Sunday. Well, Andre Gomes has not filled the gaps, and when he plays (at times) it appears as if he creates them. If the suspension is not overturned, he will miss El Clasico and Wednesday game against Osasuna.

Barcelona has won only two of its last five games, with losses to Juventus in the Champions League and Malaga in La Liga.

Such was the case for Real Madrid last time out when 41% ($1.7m) of the total media generated for their sponsors came from the club's social platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

After sealing their place in the Champions League semifinal, Real Madrid can take a huge step towards claiming a first La Liga title in five years when they host great rivals Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday.