While a win over your biggest rival is always something that players and fans alike crave all year, El Clasico is a unique derby because it always means something in regards to the league and who will win La Liga in the long run.
For Barcelona, a win will place them 7 points above their biggest rivals, Real Madrid, for the league title and a 6 above their nearest current rivals, Seville. A win in this game will firmly establish this strong Barcelona squad a front runners in the race for the league. With Luis Suarez now able to begin playing, this game could be the point where Barcelona kick on to have an incredibly dominant season, as they will have the talent and depth to challenge on all fronts.
A win for Real Madrid, however, will undo much of the lead that Barcelona currently have, moving Real within a point of Barca. Not only will it mean that Real Madrid are closer to the league leaders, but every other team will also be closer. A win by Real Madrid at this stage in the season could blow the title race wide open. With two defeats already this season, Real will be disappointed to be third behind Seville and the right results could see them pull ahead into second.
Beyond simple numbers, however, this game will be used as a marker for whoever wins. If Barcelona win, it’ll be seen as Barca establishing dominance in the league and a demoralizing blow to a hopeful and equally talented Real. On the other hand, should Real Madrid win, it will be viewed as Madrid reestablishing themselves after a wobbly start to the campaign.
This is a game that always means something besides a simple three points in the league. There is a history here, a blood lust, that sets it apart from almost any other rivalry in world sports. This Saturday, we won’t see simple athletes out there, we’ll be seeing warriors, artists, magicians, heroes, gods of the game. So strap in, this is one of the most exciting games on the year.