How many times has Barcelona won against Real Madrid without Lionel Messi?

Barcelona meet Real Madrid in a crucial LaLiga clash on Sunday (16 October), but without Lionel Messi, how successful have they been against their big rivals?

The forthcoming ‘El Clasico’ will not be the first clash between the sides since the seven-time Ballon d’Or winners departed last summer. However, it will still be surreal not to see the legendary Argentina forward in the Blaugrana colors as Barcelona spend millions trying to replace him.

Of course, Barca did much better against Real Madrid when Messi was in the team. In total, the Argentine played in 45 Clasicos and was on the winning side 19 times. He was also involved in 11 draws and a third of all matches ended in defeat.

Messi was a key player in Pep Guardiola’s victorious Barcelona team, scoring 26 times against Madrid, eight times more than any other player. The forward missed three Clasicos during his Barca career through injury. In the Argentine’s absence, the Blaugrana won once, drew once and lost once.

Throughout the history of the game, the Catalan giants have a much worse win rate without their legendary attacker. They have won just 77 of their 201 matches, drawn 41 times and lost 83 times, while also scoring fewer goals per game.

The two teams played each other three times last season, with Madrid winning twice and Barca winning just once, in a 4-0 win at the Bernabeu.

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Sunday’s clash in the Spanish capital is one of the biggest between the sides in recent memory. The pair occupy the top two spots in La Liga having won seven of their eight top-flight games so far. Both clubs scored 22 out of a possible 24 points.

Real Madrid are in good form, although they needed a very late goal from Antonio Rudiger to salvage a point against Shakthar Donetsk in the Champions League this week. Barca endured a difficult week in Europe as well, with their hopes in the competition hanging by a thread after a vibrant 3-3 draw with Inter Milan.

This duel will see two of Europe’s best forwards go head-to-head, with Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski both in good form. Lewandowski is expected to take part in his first Clasico, having scored for his new team for fun so far this season.

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