There is absolutely no doubting Leo Messi’s importance to Barcelona but, this season, the Catalan side have proven they can manage even without the Argentine against their biggest rivals.
Messi was absent from the season’s first Clasico in LaLiga Santander which ended in a 5-1 win for Barcelona.
He started on the bench in the 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at the Camp Nou, completing the final half hour.
On Wednesday, as Barcelona breezed to a 3-0 win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of the semi-final, Messi had a below par performance for his standards.
Barcelona still depend greatly on Messi, with the Argentine having scored 25 goals out the team’s 65 league strikes this campaign.
Comfortable at the Bernabeu
Nevertheless, a few good games without Messi against Madrid cannot be taken too far as his presence has an undeniable positive effect on the team against almost every opponent.
The Argentine may not have scored against Los Blancos in the Copa but he has managed 12 in 18 games in the league at the home of his side’s eternal rivals.
His record at the home of Real Madrid is six wins, two draw and three defeats and, out of 40 Clasicos has won 26 times.