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Barcelona beat Real Madrid long before El Clasico kicked off…

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday in the first El Clasico of the campaign.

Neymar’s 19th minute opener for the Catalans and Alexis Sanchez’s 78th minute winner rendered Jese’s stoppage time goal nothing more than a consolation for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

However, I’m prepared to assert that the El Clasico was actually won on the 24th May when Santos announced they had received two offers for 21-year-old attacking midfielder Neymar – there seemed little doubt he would soon be unveiled as the latest addition to the Barcelona family.

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The Brazilian was eventually announced as the La Liga champions’ three days later and transferred to the Spanish giants for a fee of £48.6 million.

Meanwhile, in the Spanish capital a transfer saga involving soon to be world record signing Gareth Bale was playing out just as Florentino Perez had hoped it would as Real negotiated with Tottenham over their Welsh superstar, the PFA and PWA Player of the Year in the Premier League.

24-year-old Bale had a sensational season with Spurs but was fairly benign in Saturday’s clash at the Camp Nou. The £85.6 million man had had a decent start to his debut season in Spain but as yet has not come close to justifying his fee.

Almost twice as expensive as Neymar, Bale has yet to fully settle with his Los Blancos teammates and on the night varied between anonymous and pedestrian.

There are plenty of other El Clasico’s left for Gareth Bale – and Neymar too – but as far as last weekend’s one goes, Barcelona beat Real Madrid back in May, before the transfer window even officially opened in their negotiation of the signing of the most exciting prospect in world football for nearly half the price of the player who Perez broke all records to bring to the Bernabeu.

image: © jikatu

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