Hat-tricks, hell-raising and high treason: 10 huge Clásico debuts
7. Davor Suker (1996)
Suker arrived at the Bernabeu from Sevilla in 1996 and had an instant impact, scoring 29 goals in 43 games and spearheading Real Madrid’s title-winning charge under Fabio Capello.
In his first Clásico, he led the line brilliantly as Madrid triumphed 2-0 over their despairing foes. In the end, this result proved decisive; Real finished the season only two points better off than Barca in the La Liga standings.
Suker opened the scoring after meeting a wicked Roberto Carlos free-kick at the far post, and enjoyed a role in the move for Predrag Mijatovic’s second to finish Barca off.
The match is also notable for being Ronaldo’s first Clásico for Barcelona, but the Brazilian endured a frustrating evening compared to the man who would later beat him to the Golden Boot at France 98.
8. Luis Figo (2000)
Comfortably eclipsing the fallout from Laudrup and Luis Enrique’s transfers, Figo remains the definitive dividing figure between these two clubs. The vitriol from Barcelona supporters after their Portuguese ace opted to join Florentino Perez’s Galactico project for £60 million is now infamous.
Upon his return to the Camp Nou, Figo was greeted by banners displaying the words ‘Traitor’ and ‘Scum’. It was a harrowing experience for the midfielder and one that clearly got to him and his team-mates as Barcelona ran out 2-0 winners. Nevertheless, Real went on to win the title at a canter that season, finishing 17 points ahead of their fourth-placed rivals.
On Figo’s second return to Catalonia the abuse reached dangerous heights. He was relentlessly bombarded with missiles as he attempted to take corners for Real, with a pig’s head spotted near the corner flag. It remains one of the defining images of the Real-Barca rivalry.