Fri07202018

LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 8pm

Why Does The Santiago Bernabeu Not Applaud Messi Like They Did Ronaldinho?

Pic: GoalPic: GoalSeveral Barcelona players have been given an ovation by Real Madrid's fans in a Clasico, but the Argentine attacker is unlikely to ever receive one.

A few weeks have now gone by since the 12th anniversary of what seemed impossible at the start of this millennium, as a sector of Real Madrid fans applauded a Barcelona victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

That was achieved by Ronaldinho as the brilliant Brazilian hit a superb double in a 3-0 win in November 2005. It was his third visit to the Bernabeu and his second victory, having handed Xavi an unforgettable assist in a 2-1 victory in his first game at Madrid's famous home.

Back in the 1980s, the Bernabeu also applauded Diego Maradona and many Madridistas later stood up to acclaim Andres Iniesta in 2015 when the Spain midfielder was substituted during a 4-0 success for Luis Enrique's side.

Messi started that game on the bench having only recently recovered from injury, but the Argentine attacker has had more memorable nights at the Bernabeu than most other Barcelona players.

There was his double in the sides' Champions League semi-final first leg back 2011, a hat-trick in a 4-3 win for Gerardo Martino's team in 2014 and a superb winner in La Liga last season which was followed by an iconic celebtration as he held his shirt aloft to the Bernabeu crowd.

In total, Messi has played 12 times at the Bernabeu, with seven wins, one draw and only four defeats, a record that would have seemed unthinkable when Barca went seven straight seasons without winning away to Real Madrid until Ronaldinho set up Xavi for that 2-1 win in 2004.

Ronaldinho's number 10 shirt was worn later by Messi and although the Brazilian helped Barca to back-to-back La Liga titles and a Champions League crown, the Argentine would lead the Blaugrana in an era of dominance with Pep Guardiola, and later Luis Enrique, in charge.

It is perhaps for that reason, and also due to the rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, that Madrid's fans are unwilling to applaud Messi, while some supporters also believe he purposely kicked the ball at them during a Clasico clash in April 2011.

The constant comparisons with Ronaldo and the bad-tempered Clasico meetings stoked up by Jose Mourinho in his time at Real have not helped and even if the Barca forward produces another match-winning performance in Saturday's match, he is still highly unlikely to receive an ovation at the Bernabeu.

- Goal