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DALLAS, TEXAS — El Clásico is back. As Saturday’s iconic clash between Barça and Real Madrid looms on the horizon, fans, not just here in the United States, but also around the world, eagerly await the return of the one single matchup that most transcends the boundaries of a mere sporting event.
It may be billed as a preseason friendly, but El Clásico always has been — and always will be — the fiercest of battles. Pride and honor are at stake.
Steeped in history and a rivalry that has no equal, the sheer intensity of this matchup sets it apart from all others, in any sport, in any part of the world.
And on Saturday, it’ll be played here in Dallas, which, for one day, will be the unquestioned epicenter of the football universe.
It will be the fifth meeting between Barça and Real Madrid in 2023. Barça has won three of those games, including the Spanish Super Cup final last winter. It will also be the third preseason El Clásico to be held on American soil in recent years. In 2017, Barça, led by Leo Messi, vanquished their archrivals in Miami. Last summer, Barça won again, under the lights of Las Vegas.
But never mind all of that.
Never mind that Barça comes into this game with just one preseason encounter under its belt — a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in Los Angeles earlier this week — or that Real Madrid has two wins in two tries this preseason.
None of that will matter at AT&T Stadium on Saturday.
The only thing that will matter is which team is hungrier. Which team has more fire. More desire. More gravitas. Which team wants it more.
Enjoy the show.