Bernd Schuster (left) and Frank Rijkaard. / FCB ARCHIVE

Former FC Barcelona and Real Madrid player Bernd Schuster, who has more than his fair share of El Clásico experience, sat down with Barça TV and fcbarcelona.com to talk about what it all means. "The atmosphere is awesome…it is very beautiful," he said.

Schuster believes that FC Barcelona are in better form coming into Saturday’s game. "In my time, the home team was always the favourite. Now it’s slightly different and I see Barça as the favourites," he said.

Last season Barça won every title in play, something that has a big influence on the start of the following season. "When you win it all, the next season is always more complicated. At the beginning they had some problems but now their back moving in the right direction," he said.

Schuster also emphasized the play of Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr. "The team has overcome the injury to Messi and, furthermore, Neymar and Suárez have put the team on their backs."

Three memories

Of the El Clásicos that Schuster played with FC Barcelona, three of them hold special places in his memory. The first was his El Clásico debut on 30 November 1980. "The first one we won 2–1 was a very special game. It was the first time I ever lived something like that," Schuster said.

The other was Barça’s 3–0 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu on 2 September 1984. "That one was very special because it showed us the path to the league title," he said. That day, it was a Maradona goal that was etched in the memory of football fans everywhere. "I remember the whole play. We were totally impressed. Even the Madrid fans applauded," Schuster said.

The third was Barça’s Copa del Rey Final victory over Real Madrid on 4 June 1983, which came on a late goal by Marcos Alonso. "It was an incredible game that made a lot of people very happy."