For the past 10 years, it has developed into a personal rivalry between arguably the best two players the world had ever seen. But as it stands, neither of them will be playing on Sunday afternoon when Barcelona and Real Madrid face off at the Nou Camp.
Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in the summer after a nine-year stay in Madrid that yielded 450 goals and 15 trophies including four Champions League crowns.
And now Lionel Messi is absent too, with Barca's talisman sidelined after breaking his arm in last weekend's 4-2 victory against Sevilla - a result that sent the reigning champions top of the table and gives them the chance to move seven points clear of Julen Lopetegui’s struggling Real Madrid on Sunday.
It will be the first Clasico featuring neither Messi nor Ronaldo since December 2007, when Real triumphed with a solitary goal from Julio Baptista in a game featuring other blasts from the past such as Deco, Gianluca Zambrotta, Gabriel Heinze and Ruud van Nistelrooy.