Hat-tricks, hell-raising and high treason: 10 huge Clásico debuts

With several young upstarts hoping to make their Clásico bows this Saturday, Matthew Gault revisits some of the most unforgettable first-time performances in football’s ultimate rivalry...

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1. Alfredo Di Stefano (1953)

He may have been usurped by Lionel Messi as the most prolific marksman the fixture has ever seen, but Di Stefano managed a feat not yet achieved by the Barcelona No.10 – scoring four in one Clásico.

The late Real Madrid legend symbolised the intense rivalry between the two teams. He caught the attention of both Spanish giants playing for Millonarios in Argentina and both made overtures to sign him. After appearing in a couple of charity matches for Barcelona, he eventually joined los Blancos and the rest is history. 

He gave Barcelona a devastating demonstration of what they had missed out on by smashing four past them in his first derby, en route to Real winning the title ahead of their rivals by four points. Legendary.

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(Some footage from 2:20 onwards)

2. Johan Cruyff (1974)

Before masterminding Barcelona's 'Dream Team' in the 1990s, Dutch legend Cruyff graced El Clásico as a player, after refusing to sign for Real Madrid due to their association with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. 

Because of this, fans at the Camp Nou embraced the Dutchman and he quickly became a legend in Catalonia, helping them hammer Madrid 5-0 en route to their first La Liga title since 1960. 

His influence in that Clásico was monumental. By setting up three and scoring another, Cruyff quickly ensured a memorable place in history with a virtuoso performance that left Real trembling.