Barcelona vs Real Madrid. El Clasico. Just the mention of the fixture makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. When La Liga's big two cross swords, the whole of planet football stops to watch.Over the years, there have certainly been enough talking points to keep us enthralled and this season's edition is likely to be no different. In the recent past, the pendulum has swung back and forth between Los Blancos and the Blaugrana with more sub plots, twists and turns than a John Grisham novel.Let's take a look at five of the best recent stories from this epic battle in Spain.
#1 The Casillas and Xavi phone call
It was a phone call which was to destroy any last vestiges of a working relationship that Iker Casillas had with Jose Mourinho. After the Super Cup clash of 2011, when Mourinho famously poked Tito Vilanova in the eye, an angry Casillas called his long-time friend from the national team Xavi.
Clearly incensed that yet another Clasico had been ruined by ugly scenes, Casillas was in the mood to give Xavi a piece of his mind. Yet he clearly hadn’t counted on Xavi’s conciliatory tone. An acknowledgement that both teams needed to look at themselves and their behaviour if they wanted to resolve the issue.
The call ended with a reconciliation of sorts between the two players, but that infuriated the Portuguese who clearly enjoyed stoking the fires between the two clubs. From that point on Casillas was finished. A series of leaks attributed to the custodian saw the tide of public opinion turn against him.
Although it would be a few seasons before he finally left the Santiago Bernabeu, the damage had already been done.