On Wednesday, Barcelona will take on Real Madrid in the second-leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final encounter. Santiago Bernabeu will be the venue, meaning Lionel Messi will return to the
ground where he has done wonders time and time before.
The Argentine holds several records in El Clasico, but it his numbers at Los Blancos' own home ground has resulted in the Bernabeu being labeled La Pulga's training ground. While more of a troll than an objective statement, does there lie any truth behind those internet jokes?
While the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has endured his fair share of defeats at Los Merengues, one figure stands out above the rest: he has won more times than lost at the Bernabeu. The Camp Nou icon has made 19 trips there since his Clasico debut in 2005-06, winning 10 and losing six while sharing the spoils on three occasions.
Mess's record at the Bernabeu
Goals scored: 15
It should be stated that in his entire 39 appearances against the Madrid giant, he has won 17 times. This means he has racked up more victories in El Clasico at the Bernabeu than at Camp Nou, having enjoyed only seven triumphs at his home stadium.
This is the same trend with his goalscoring record, having found the back of the net on the road more often than when at home. With 26 strikes under his belt in total in this bitter rivalry, he has scored 15 times in the Spanish capital compared to only 11 in Catalonia.
In comparison, here are Leo's Clasico numbers at Camp Nou
Goals scored: 11
While Messi has drawn blanks in three of his last five Bernabeu visits, in the two remaining fixtures in which he got on the scoresheet, he scored a whopping five times. Two came in that unforgettable 3-2 win in which he scored in stoppage-time to snatch all three points. In the other tie, he bagged a hat-trick.
On Wednesday, Leo will return to this ground once more. While the aforementioned label can be excused as hyperbole, the 31-year-old knows how to wreak havoc at Real Madrid and will be keen on adding to his tally, as a ticket to yet another Copa del Rey final is up for grabs for the Blaugrana.