messiThe first clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona this year takes place today in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. The game will be played on the Santiago Bernabeu, but on this stadium Leo Messi feels the best, if we not consider the Camp Nou. Outside the home matches, the Argentine football player scored the most goals in his career even on Bernabeu, eight, as many as has managed an Vicente Calderon, against Atletico Madrid. In fact, Real Madrid is one of the favorite victims of the Ballon d’Or. Since 2004, when started to play for Barcelona, Messi played against Los Blancos 22 games, scoring 17 times. And every time goalkeeper defeated by him was Casillas.

In addition to qualifications in the Spanish Cup final, the double leg with Real Madrid has an important stake for Messi. The Argentina has managed so far 17 goals in El Clasico, with one less than Di Stefano. Thus, with at least a goal tonight, the Catalan would equal the Galactics’ legendary player.

Tito Vilanova will not sit on Barcelona bench tonight. The coach is still in U.S. for treatment, and the Catalans will be led by Jordi Roura, who is at his first El Clasico from career.

Atletico Madrid is the only team against who Messi scored more than against Real, 20 goals.

Messi has never managed a hat-trick at the Bernabeu. Has two doubles instead.

Away stadiums where Messi has scored the most times:

Santiago Bernabeu (Real) – 8

Vicente Calderon (Altetico) – 8

La Romareda (Zaragoza) – 7

Son Moix (Mallorca) – 7

El Sardinero (Racing) – 7