On Nov. 29, 2010, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona subjected Jose Mourinho and his Real Madrid side to a record 5-0 defeat in El Clasico. The build-up to the game was dominated by the subplot of the world’s two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, facing off against each other, but in the end it was incredibly one-sided.
Real Madrid were top of La Liga, seven games unbeaten, and they had just handed out a 6-1 defeat to Racing Santander. After two years of watching Barcelona crowned champions, there was a growing excitement that Madrid could topple their rivals on home soil and become the dominant force in Spain once more.
Instead, they came up against Guardiola’s men in inspired form, with Messi at the forefront of everything. Barcelona had already hit the post when they opened the scoring after just 10 minutes when Xavi was on hand to poke in Andres Iniesta‘s deflected shot. Pedro made it 2-0 after 18 minutes, following David Villa‘s cross, and Messi teed up Villa for Barcelona’s third and fourth goals in the second half. The humiliation was compounded when Jeffren scored Barcelona’s fifth in the 91st minute and there was still time for Sergio Ramos to see red for a rash tackle on Messi.
It was Guardiola’s fifth Clasico triumph in a row, as well as the first time in his professional career that Mourinho had lost a game 5-0, and helped Barcelona to the 2010-11 La Liga title. Here’s how the teams lined up on that day, as we look at what has happened to both sets of players since.
GK, Victor Valdes: He played an incredible 536 games for Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, before moving to Manchester United on a free transfer in 2015. Valdes spent just one year there, making two appearances, before moving to Standard Liege on loan and then permanently to Middlesbrough in July 2016. The goalkeeper made 28 appearances for Boro before retiring in August 2017. Now he has embarked on a coaching career, spending time with amateur side Moratalaz and the Barcelona U19 team (where he was sacked after just 80 days), and is currently boss of Spanish fourth division side UA Horta.
RB, Dani Alves: The great Brazilian made 391 appearances for Barca and scored 21 goals from 2008 to 2016, when he moved to Juventus on a free transfer. After a season in Turin, where he won the domestic double, he signed for Paris Saint-Germain, picking up two Ligue 1 titles. He’s now back in Brazil, playing for Sao Paulo, but his legacy at Camp Nou encouraged USMNT star Sergino Dest to follow in his idol’s footsteps. In 2019, he became the most decorated player in football, having won his 43rd trophy.
CB, Carles Puyol: He spent his entire career at Barcelona and made 593 appearances in 15 years, while winning 100 caps for Spain. Puyol was the club’s longest serving captain and in his time at Camp Nou, he won six La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, three Champions Leagues and two Club World Cup titles. Having retired in 2014, he now spends his time as a charity and UEFA ambassador, having previously explored the agency world.
CB, Gerard Pique: The 33-year-old defender is still running out for Barcelona, adding to his impressive tally of over 500 appearances, and just signed a new contract until 2024. He formed the bedrock of Barcelona’s defence with Puyol and won 102 caps for Spain from 2009 to 2018, but has had to evolve in recent years. Outside of football, he founded Kosmos Holding — a sports and media group — which is transforming tennis’ Davis Cup, married pop star Shakira in 2011, and purchased third-tier side FC Andorra, while he also has a majority stake in one of Catalonia’s strongest youth academies: Gimnastic Manresa.
LB, Eric Abidal: At Barcelona from 2007 to 2013, he was forced to take a spell away from the game in 2011 when he was diagnosed with a tumour on his liver, but returned later that season after surgery. In 2012 it was announced Abidal was undergoing a liver transplant but remarkably returned to the field in December that same year. He joined Monaco in 2013 and spent a year at Greek side Olympiakos before retiring in January 2015. He started his own foundation but returned to Barcelona as sporting director in June 2018. However, he was sacked in August 2020 amid a public war of words with Messi.
DM, Sergio Busquets: Still at the heart of the Barcelona midfield, the 32-year-old Busquets has spent his whole career at Camp Nou and is seventh in the club’s all-time league appearances list. The defensive midfielder has won eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues at Barca, and also won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.
CM, Xavi: The brilliant midfielder holds the record for Barcelona appearances with 767 from 1998 to 2015. He won everything at Camp Nou, but was also the heartbeat of the Spain side that won two European Championships (2008 and 2012) and the 2010 World Cup. He left Barca in 2015 for Qatari side Al-Sadd SC, where he made 90 appearances and scored 24 goals. In 2019 he became Al-Sadd SC manager and has led the side to the Super Cup and Qatar Cup, while he is frequently linked with a return to Barcelona at some stage as a future boss.
CM, Andres Iniesta: There’s a theme here, but the outstanding Spanish midfielder — like Busquets and Xavi — is regarded as one of the best players of his generation. He won nine La Liga titles at Barcelona, and four Champions Leagues, while winning 131 caps for Spain and was runner-up to Messi for the Ballon d’Or in 2010. He was given a contract for life by Barcelona in 2017, but left a year later for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, where he has captained them to Emperor’s Cup and Japanese Super Cup success. In his hometown of Albacete, a nude statue of him scoring the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup went viral recently, before it was amended.
📢 La inauguración de la estatua de @andresiniesta8 que iba a celebrarse el 10 de julio, décimo aniversario de la victoria de la Selección Española 🇪🇸🇪🇸 en el Mundial de Fútbol de Sudáfrica, se pospone al 2021, por la pandemia del Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/y7gyK8JZjI
— Ayuntamiento de Albacete (@AytoAlbacete) June 16, 2020
FW, Pedro: Another to have come through the club’s La Masia academy, the winger made 321 appearances for Barcelona and scored 99 goals, before leaving for Chelsea in 2015 for €30m. He made 206 appearances for Chelsea, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup, but it was his Europa League success in 2019 that saw him become the first player to win the Champions League, World Cup, European Championship and Premier League in their career. He joined Roma on a free transfer in the summer.
FW, David Villa: The striker spent three years at Barcelona and scored 48 goals in 119 games, before joining Atletico Madrid in 2013 for a bargain €5.1m. After a season there he joined MLS side New York City FC in 2014 on a free transfer and stayed at the club until 2019 — apart from a brief spell on loan at A-League side Melbourne City — scoring 80 goals in 126 appearances. He then had a final year playing with Iniesta at Vissel Kobe, before retiring in February 2020.
FW, Lionel Messi: Arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game, Messi is still at Barcelona despite a turbulent summer, when he requested to leave only to end up staying because he didn’t want to take them to court. Since his debut in 2004, he has won the Ballon d’Or six times, and the FIFA Best Award in 2019. With Barcelona he has 10 La Liga titles, six Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues, though hasn’t been able to stop an international trophy drought that began for Argentina in 1993, missing out on the 2014 World Cup and both the 2015 and 2017 Copa America despite reaching the final.
GK, Jose Manuel Pinto: The experienced goalkeeper joined Barca in 2008 on a free from Celta Vigo and stayed through to his retirement in 2014. He made 90 appearances for Barca across his seven seasons and, having been responsible for the music in the dressing room, is now a producer. He was behind the music on the Barcelona documentary “Take the Ball Pass the Ball,” and also had songs featured on blockbuster films “Ride Along 2” and “The Fate of the Furious.”
LB, Adriano: The Brazilian full-back was at Barca for six years through to 2016, before he signed for Besiktas for €2.3m. He spent three years there before joining Brazilian club Athletico-PR in July 2019 and he’s currently at KAS Eupen in the Belgian Pro League.
RB, Maxwell: The Brazilian’s trophy haul is astonishing — he has 37 titles to his name across a career that saw him play for Ajax, Empoli, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. He was at Barca from 2009 to 2012 and played for PSG until 2017, where he made 214 appearances, before retiring. He spent time with PSG as assistant sporting director but left in June 2019.
CM, Seydou Keita: The Mali midfielder was Guardiola’s first signing as Barca boss and he played 188 times from 2008 to 2012, before leaving for Chinese side Dalian Professional F.C. in 2012. He had spells with Valencia, Roma and Qatar’s El-Jaish before retiring in 2017. He recently made a generous $50,000 food donation to help families in Mali during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CB, Javier Mascherano: After a career at River Plate, Corinthians, West Ham and Liverpool, the midfielder-turned-centre back played for eight years at Barcelona before leaving for China and Hebei China Fortune in January 2018. He enjoyed a remarkable time at Camp Nou, making 334 appearances and winning five La Liga titles. He’s now 36 and has just retired after playing for Estudiantes in the Argentine top flight.
FW, Bojan Krkic: Always tipped to take on the Messi mantle, the forward made 163 appearances for Barcelona and scored 41 goals before leaving for Roma in 2011. After two seasons in Italy, including one on loan at AC Milan, he was re-signed by Barca but joined Ajax on loan in 2013 and then Stoke City on a permanent deal in 2014. Further loans at Mainz and Alaves followed, before landing in MLS with Montreal Impact to lead them to the Canadian Championship in 2019.
FW, Jeffren: The Venezuela international made 34 appearances at Barcelona from 2008 to 2011 and spent time with Sporting CP, Valladolid, Eupen, Grasshoppers and AEK Larnaca before joining Croatian club NK Slaven Belupo. He told Marca in 2018: “You leave the biggest clubs in the world and see the reality of football. Barcelona is a bubble where you don’t want for anything, you have it all and when you leave everything changes.”
Manager, Pep Guardiola: Guardiola is still spoken of with immense reverence in the Camp Nou corridors having won three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and two Champions Leagues during his four-season spell as manager. He took a sabbatical in 2012-13 before joining Bayern Munich and guided them to three consecutive Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal triumphs in three seasons. Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job ahead of the 2016-17 season and has won two Premier Leagues, one FA Cup and three Carabao Cups, but has yet to win the Champions League since 2011 and his days at Barcelona.
Sid Lowe says it’s disconcerting everyone has accepted the Champions League is beyond Real Madrid and Barcelona.
GK, Iker Casillas: The legendary Spain goalkeeper played for Real Madrid from 1999 to 2015, while winning an incredible 167 caps for his country. At Madrid, he won five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, and made a total of 725 appearances. He left the club to join FC Porto in 2015 but his career was put on hold after suffering a heart attack in training. He recovered and took on a player-coach role at Porto as he trained, but announced his retirement in August 2020. Now he spearheads his own Foundation and plans to run for presidency of the Spanish Football Federation.
RB, Sergio Ramos: Still Real Madrid’s key man at the back, having joined the club from Sevilla in 2005, he has over 650 appearances and has contributed a century of goals. Ramos has won six La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues and even had a documentary made about his career. The Spaniard is also within touching distance of Egyptian Ahmed Hassan’s international cap record of 184.
CB, Ricardo Carvalho: The Portuguese joined Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2010 for a cut-price €7.9m. He made 77 appearances for Real and left in 2013 on a free for Monaco. He played for three seasons there and finished his career at Shanghai SIPG in China, retiring in August 2018. He’s currently assistant to Andre Villas-Boas at Marseille.
CB, Pepe: The towering centre-back made 334 appearances for Real Madrid before joining Besiktas on a free in 2017. He left in December 2018 by mutual agreement and was soon picked up by FC Porto in January 2019 where he still plays and has just signed a new three-year contract to continue until he is 40. He helped Portugal to the 2016 European Championship crown and has made 113 appearances for the national side.
LB, Marcelo: The left-back is still rampaging down the flank for Real Madrid. Having joined in 2007 from Fluminese, he’s made over 500 appearances and has won four Champions Leagues and five La Ligas at the club. He’s also still running out for Brazil at the age of 32.
CM, Xabi Alonso: The midfielder joined Real Madrid in 2009 from Liverpool for €35m and made 236 appearances before leaving for Bayern Munich in 2014 for a bargain €9m. After three seasons, he retired in July 2017 and spent time coaching in the Real Madrid youth setup before joining Real Sociedad as their B Team manager in 2019.
CM, Sami Khedira: He made 161 appearances across five seasons for Real Madrid and, after winning the 2014 World Cup with Germany, left to join Juventus on a free transfer in 2015. The midfielder is still at Juve and has won five Serie A titles and three Coppa Italias, though his future is in doubt after he was left out of the club’s Champions League squad.
AM, Mesut Ozil: The German’s three years in Madrid saw him finish as La Liga’s assists leader each year, but he joined Arsenal in 2013 for €50m and was a key figure under Arsene Wenger. However, since 2018 he found his game time more limited under Unai Emery and is now out of the picture completely under Mikel Arteta after being omitted from their Premier League and Europa League squads. Away from the pitch has been a turbulent time as well, as he quit Germany in 2018 after alleging racial discrimination, was the victim of an attempted carjacking with teammate Sead Kolasinac a year later, and regularly speaks out over global political issues on social media — as well as things closer to home. A philanthropist, he has also recently set up his own companies in eSports (M10Esports) and another called Unity Performance Lab.
I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous & loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years. As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player… pic.twitter.com/IfWN38x62z
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) October 6, 2020
FW, Angel Di Maria: The Argentine forward left Real Madrid for Manchester United in 2014 for €75m. But after just one season at Old Trafford, he joined PSG for €63m. He has remained an integral part of their squad and has helped them to four Ligue 1 titles and four Coupe de France trophies. He started the Champions League final last season and continues to play for Argentina too.
FW, Cristiano Ronaldo: Now 35 and regarded by some as the greatest player to ever kick a football, Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games at Real Madrid and won two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues before leaving for Juventus in 2018 for €100m. His incredible scoring record has continued in Italy and he has won two Serie A titles. He captained Portugal to their 2016 European Championship win and has just broken the 100-goal mark at international level, though his last major personal honour (the Ballon d’Or) came in 2017.
ST, Karim Benzema: The French striker is still in remarkable form for Real Madrid, having finished second behind top scorer Messi in La Liga last season with 21 goals. Now in his 12th season at Madrid, Benzema has won three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues. But his international career was tarnished in 2015 when he was placed under investigation over an attempt to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, and he has not played for France since.
GK, Jerzy Dudek: The Poland goalkeeper joined Real Madrid in 2007 on a free transfer and made just 12 appearances before retiring in 2011. He competed in motorsports, racing in the 2014 Volkswagen Castrol Cup, and also works as a UEFA ambassador.
CB, Raul Albiol: The Spain international spent four seasons at Real Madrid through to 2013 when he left for Napoli. He spent six seasons there, winning the Copa Italia in 2014, and at the age of 33 joined Villarreal in 2019.
RB, Alvaro Arbeloa: The full-back spent seven years at Real Madrid before joining West Ham in August 2016. He played for one season and then retired in 2017. At 37, he’s now part of Real Madrid’s academy staff.
CM, Mahamadou Diarra: The Malian midfielder left Real Madrid for Monaco in 2011 and signed for Fulham in 2012. He had two seasons at Craven Cottage and went into the football wilderness after struggling with a knee injury until he popped up at Brentford in 2016, where he trained throughout the season, making an appearance for their development team.
CM, Lassana Diarra: The French midfielder had a nomadic career. After three seasons at Real Madrid, he left in 2012 for Anzhi Makhachkala and had one season at Lokomotiv Moscow before joining Marseille in 2015. He left for Al Jazira in 2017 and had another stint back in Ligue 1 with PSG in the 2018-19 campaign, retiring in February 2019. He now runs drinks company Heroic.
FW, Pedro Leon: The Spanish midfielder was tipped for the top, but made just 14 appearances at Real Madrid in the 2010-11 season under Jose Mourinho and spent the next two seasons on loan at Getafe. He joined them permanently in 2013 and is now at Eibar, having signed in 2016.
Gonzalo Higuain misses from the spot with Inter Miami down 2-0. Watch MLS on ESPN+.
ST, Gonzalo Higuain: Higuain scored 121 goals in a seven-year spell at Real Madrid that saw him win three La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey, but he moved to Napoli in 2013 for €40m. Three years later he was on the move again, this time to Juventus for €90m where he played for just two seasons before joining AC Milan on loan. He spent the latter half of the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Chelsea and, after another season at Juventus, he eventually signed for David Beckham‘s MLS side Inter Miami CF in September 2020.
Manager, Jose Mourinho. Mourinho won the 2012 La Liga title at Real Madrid before leaving in 2013 for a return to Chelsea. He spent two-and-a-half years there, helping them to the 2015 Premier League title, before departing in December 2015. He replaced Louis van Gaal as Manchester United boss in 2016, and won the Europa League and Carabao Cup, but was sacked in December 2018. He’s now boss of Tottenham Hotspur, having taken up the reins from Mauricio Pochettino in October 2019.