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Evaristo de Macedo at the Camp Nou in 2007. PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

Evaristo de Macedo played for FC Barcelona from 1957 to 1962, and 50 years later he is still remembered as one of the finest players to have ever worn the famous jersey. His titles at Barça included two leagues, one Spanish Cup and two European Fairs Cups.

With 178 goals in 226 matches, he is still the highest scoring Brazilian in club history, and one of the few players to have switched directly from Barça to Real Madrid and yet still be deeply admired in Catalonia. He scored five goals in the seven games he played for FCB against the all-whites.

He is best remembered for a hat trick against Real Madrid early in the 1958/59 season, and with yet another edition of the clásico upon us, he spoke exclusively to www.fcbarcelona.pt.

What memories of Barça v Madrid first come into your head?
“This is one of the classic matches in world football, and I was privileged enough to have played in some. It is a game that means much more than football, with plenty of political connotations. It’s a unique rivalry in world football”.

Are clásicos harder now than in your day?
“I think it’s a bit more relaxed nowadays, although there’s still an amazing rivalry. And it’s not just about a clásico, it’s about the best players in the world competing”.

Do you see any favourites for Saturday?
“It’s always hard to pick a favourite for a clásico. They’re two great teams, each with their own style, but both packed with superstars that can make a difference. What might be a factor in favour of Barcelona is home advantage”.

Talking of styles, which do you prefer, Barça’s possession game or Madrid’s more direct approach?
“They are both competitive. Real Madrid use strength and speed to create goals out of nothing. Barça prefer a calmer method, to control the ball. But both styles produce results”.

What about Neymar’s arrival at the Club?
“A club like Barcelona needs heroes, and I think Neymar was a positive signing. Barça have a lot of established stars, but I think he’ll win his place. His turn will come in time”.

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