Isco and Raphael Varane return to training for Real Madrid

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Training: Isco

Real Madrid received a huge boost ahead of El Clasico on Sunday with Isco and Raphael Varane returning to training on Saturday.

Neither players trained on Friday but took to the field on Saturday morning ahead of their visit to the Nou Camp.

Despite featuring in training, coach Zinedine Zidane is unlikely to risk both players with the Frenchman keen to have them fully fit for the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26.

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El Clasico: Five memorable games between Real Madrid and Barcelona

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Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have had cause to celebrate ahead of this weekend’s El Clasico.

Los Blancos advanced to their third successive Champions League final thanks to a 2-2 draw (4-3 aggregate win) against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, two days after Barca sealed the La Liga title with a victory at Deportivo.

Though Real cannot catch their great rivals in the domestic league, they will be desperate to prevent them finishing the season unbeaten in La Liga.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at some previous classic encounters between the two.

Real Madrid 5 Barcelona 0 – La Liga, January 7, 1995

A year earlier Barcelona had thumped Real 5-0 but the tables were turned in early 1995. The hosts’ victory was inspired by ex-Barca forward Michael Laudrup, who had left Catalonia for the Spanish capital in 1994.

Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano grabbed a hat-trick, future Barcelona manager Luis Enrique added a fourth and Jose Amavisca completed the rout. Real would go on to the win the league having seen Barca crowned champions for the previous four campaigns in a row.

Luis Enrique Martinez of Real Madrid

Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 3 – La Liga, March 10, 2007

The day a teenage Lionel Messi announced himself to the world with his maiden hat-trick. In a pulsating opening half an hour, Messi twice equalised for Barca, cancelling out Ruud van Nistelrooy strikes on each occasion.

The home side were reduced to 10 men before the break when Oleguer was dismissed and Real led again through Sergio Ramos. However, Messi salvaged a point for his side by completing his hat-trick in stoppage time of an enthralling contest.

Leo Messi 1

Real Madrid 4 Barcelona 1 – La Liga, May 7, 2008

Newly-crowned champions Real were afforded a guard of honour onto the Bernabeu pitch and their visitors continued to be humiliated once the game had kicked off. Raul, Arjen Robben, Gonzalo Higuain and Van Nistelrooy were all on target for a Los Blancos team celebrating back-to-back titles.

Thierry Henry grabbed a consolation but Xavi was sent off late on in what proved to be one of the final matches of Frank Rijkaard’s reign. His successor was one Pep Guardiola.

May 7, 2008

Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 0 – La Liga, November 29, 2010

This was a fifth successive El Clasico victory in LaLiga under Guardiola for Barcelona and the heaviest loss of Jose Mourinho‘s managerial career. Guardiola’s Barca would be called “the best team we have ever played” by then-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson six months later and they showed why here.

David Villa scored twice while Xavi, Pedro and Jeffren also grabbed goals, in a win that came amid a run of 10 straight Barcelona victories.

Barcelona real

Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 3 – La Liga, April 23, 2017

The balance of power had shifted in a campaign where Real secured a La Liga and Champions League double. Yet, once again, it was Messi who would hog the headlines in their meeting with Barca. Having not scored in six Clasicos, Messi levelled following Casemiro’s opener.

Ivan Rakitic put the visitors ahead once again only for James Rodriguez to reply for 10-man Real with five minutes remaining.

Yet Messi once more delivered with a stoppage-time strike, his 500th for the club, and one that was celebrated by him holding up the name on the back of his shirt to the home support.

Messi celebrates

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Los Blancos spend €720,000 from Duodecima bonuses on Rolex watches

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Karan Dewan and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things Real Madrid.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

2:00pm – Real Madrid spend big on Rolex watches

Zinedine Zidane’s team have received part of their prize money for winning the Duodecima in the 2016-17 season.

Los Blancos have spent €720,000 from the double-title season bonuses to buy 30 Rolex Submariner’s Date watches.

More on the story here.

Rolex watches for Zidane's Duodecima heroes.

Rolex watches for Zidane’s Duodecima heroes.

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