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Top 5 historic moments from the Atletico Madrid-Barcelona rivalry

Liam Flin
Editor's Pick
5.85K   //    Timeless

While El Clasico may boast the title of Spains most infamous derby, one half of said rivalry Catalan giants Barcelona are not averse to a heated affair with Reals cross-city foes Atletico Madrid. Separated by over 600 kilometres of road, it wasnt geography which sparked the friction between the two. Instead, it was success.With more than 30 Spanish League titles between them, both Barcelona andAtletico have pioneered the advances in their nations game, along with bitter rivals Real Madrid. And such domination has formulated a triangle of hatred.Barring an under-par campaign, believe me weve seen it from all of them, the trio tend to top La Liga time and time again. And when any of them meet, it is always a feisty affair. Having accumulated six-points each from their first two matches, this weekend sees the resumption of the ongoing Atletico-Barcelona battle. With both teamsnot having conceded so far this league season, tensions will be very high indeed.Tenacious and tangible these encounters can be, yes, but given what it hasserved up in the past, theres always room for a little magic to flourish. From stellar strikes to humbling, significant moments in the game, heres a look at the five most iconic moments from the Atletico-Barcelona rivalry.

#5 Swan-song Strike for Ron

Ronaldinho bicycle kick goal Barcelona Atletico Madrid
Ronaldinho’s bicycle-kick goal against Atletico Madrid was his last in a Barcelona shirt

Over 200 appearances, almost 100 goals and a career glistening with adept skill and sublime entertainment, Ronaldinho Gaúcho is a Barcelona legend and remains a loved character in the game. If he wasn’t promoting the latest soft drink, he was making a mockery of La Liga defences with his unrivalled trickery and mean eye for goal. And it was a trip to the Vicente Calderon where the Brazillian found the net for the final time in a Barcelona shirt.

It was a snapshot, yet wonder strike of a goal – blink and you miss it. The ball was whipped into the box and Ronaldinho diverted the ball past Abbiati into the net with a well-timed bicycle kick. Even by his standards it was exceptional and one of his best. 

In some respects it was the hallmark of an era’s close; Ronaldinho would soon depart, as would Samuel Eto’o and Deco, while Thierry Henry and Yaya Touré would be on their way a couple of seasons later. A new crop of talent would soon be added in the forms of Gerard Piqué and David Villa and Ronaldinho would soon be just a memory. 

Mastering the midfield role in his time at Barcelona, Ronaldinho said farewell in typical style with some divine acrobatics and few players match the description of ‘iconic’ more perfectly. 

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Liam Flin
Writer for the Racing Post
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