El Clasico: 5 instances where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were outshone
The prospect of a match-up between Real Madrid and Barcelona is always salivating, for El Clasico isn't just any other game. It's arguably the second biggest game in European club football, second only to the UEFA Champions League final.
And why not, the rich and storied history aside, the games feature two of the world's biggest stars in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona and Real Madrid aces always hog the limelight in the build-up to the epic clash, and many a time, after the game for their brilliant performances as well. However, we have also witnessed some Clasicos where neither made the difference and were instead, left in the shadows; Clasicos in which Messi and Ronaldo weren't the talking points.
Here are 5 such El Clasicos, in which they were outshone:
#5 Varane cancels out Fabregas in dour 2012/13 Copa del Rey draw
Real Madrid's poor run in the Copa del Rey since being crowned the champions in 2014 means that they haven't played their Catalan rivals in the competition since that victorious night in Mastella. But this one particular Clasico lacked the usual shine and sheen about it.
In the first leg of the 2012/13 Copa del Rey semi-finals at the Bernabeu, Barcelona went ahead through Cesc Fabregas early in the first half as another King's Cup final looked to be on the cards. They held that lead until the 80th minute, before Raphael Varane pegged them back with an equalizer to keep the tie finely poised ahead of the return leg in the following month.
Although both Messi and Ronaldo started the match, neither could stamp their authority over it. The dynamic footballing duo were left chasing shadows for most of the match, as their activity inside the final third was uncharacteristically scarce.
An El Clasico, regardless of the competition in which it is played, always holds significance for either side. But the way this was game panned out, it wasn't just disappointing, but also subdued. So were Messi and Ronaldo.