Real Madrid defeated Barcelona in what is essentially the first "El Clasico" of the season. Ruben de la Red sealed the 3-2 victory for the Real Madrid Leyendas, who faced the Barcelona Legends at Israel's Bloomfield Stadium on Tuesday.
The star-studded "Clasico Legends" match was played in Tel Aviv, with both sides fielding impressive lineups. 25,000 fans turned up to see some of the biggest stars in world football, including the likes of Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos.
Barcelona's Ronaldinho attracted a lot of attention after having been through a tumultuous period post-retirement. The crowd roared in appreciation as Ronaldinho showed that he still has the magic touch by drawing first blood for Barcelona in the 28th minute. The Brazilian struck a penalty straight into the back of the net following a tackle by Antonio Nunez on Javier Saviola inside the box.
Real Madrid responded in the second half to take the lead via goals from Pedro Munitis and Alfonso Perez in quick succession. Jofre Mateu found the equaliser for the Blaugrana at the hour mark, but Los Blancos restored the advantage thanks to an impressive goal by Ruben de la Red who danced past two Barcelona players before taking an unstoppable curled shot.
The match was an absolute thriller, and was a beautiful showcase of the quality that both clubs have had in their rosters over the years. The event was not officially an "El Clasico," but it was enough to whet fans' appetites for the coming season.
Both clubs are now in the middle of their pre-season preparations, with club executives busy sorting out the summer market. Before the final rosters for the coming season are settled, let's have a look at the "Clasico Legends" match sheet:
Barcelona Legends: Mariano Jesus Angoy; Miquel Soler; Frederic Dehu; Tortolero; Jon Andoni Goikoetxea; Oscar Arpon; Gaizka Mendieta; Javier Saviola; Deco; Rivaldo; Ronaldinho.
Also featured: Ronald De Boer; Jofre Mateu; Guillermo Amor; Francesco Coco; Francisco Guzman; Juan Carlos; Samuel Okunowo.
Coach: Albert Ferrer
Real Madrid Leyendas: Jordi Codina; Roberto Carlos; Alberto Rivera; Luis Milla; Antonio Nunez; Alfonso Perez; Jose Emilio Amavisca; Ivan Campo; Luis Figo; Fernando Sanz; Ruben De la Red.
Also featured: Pedro Munitis; Jesús Enrique Velasco.
Coach: Manolo Castro