5 Iconic La Liga El Derbi Matches You Need to Watch

La Liga is one of the most competitive leagues in world football, and the El Derbi matches between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are always hotly anticipated. With a long and storied history dating back over a century, these matches are more than just football games; they’re cultural events. Here are five of the most iconic La Liga El Derbi matches you need to watch.

1. Real Madrid 2-1 Atletico Madrid, 1929

A Historic First League Meeting

Years after being founded in 1905, the two clubs met for the first time in the introduction of La Liga in 1929. 

The first league derby was in February that year, Los Blancos triumphing 2-1 as they reeled in the honors during the pre-war years, winning their first two league titles

It was a historic moment for both clubs and for La Liga itself. The match was played in front of a packed stadium, marking the beginning of one of the most intense rivalries in world football.

2. Real Madrid 1-3 Atlético Madrid, 1999

The first league win at Bernabeu

The last El Derbi of the Millennium marked Atletico Madrid’s significant milestone.

On matchday 10 of the 1999-00 season, both teams struggled in La Liga. Real, the hosts were ninth, some eight points behind Barcelona, while Atletico was in an early battle against relegation in 16th. A win was vital for both teams, but it was the away side that managed it in a frantic first half. Fernando Morientes opened the scoring, but a brace from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and another from Jose Mari saw Atletico win in the Bernabeu in the league for the first time in 50 years.

3. Atletico 2-3 Real, 2009

10-men Los Blancos stunned Vicente Calderon

Manuel Pellegrini’s side marched to Atletico’s Calderon as they managed to beat the rival with three goals scored before the hour mark.

Kaka, Marcelo, and Gonzalo Higuain had put Real 3-0 ahead. Sergio Ramos got sent off in the 66th minute, but two quick goals from Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero were not enough for a comeback at home.

4. Atletico 1-4 Real Madrid, 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo’s masterclass sank Atletico Madrid

It was a sweet memory for most Los Blancos fans to recall the La Liga 2011/12 season, in which they won their 32nd league title and set a record of 100 points amassed in a single season

Ronaldo had a fantastic night at his rival’s ground, scoring a hat-trick including a long-range freekick and a sensational screamer to the far corner, totally humiliating Atletico’s Thibaut Courtois in the post. 

5. Real Madrid 2-2 Atletico Madrid, 2003

4-goal thriller at Bernabeu

Four goals scored, and two red cards, well, that made this clash of the early 2000s one of the best in El Derbi history.

The 2002/03 season saw Atletico in their rival’s shadow, but it did not hold them down in a battle for honors.

Javi Moreno put them ahead before Ivan Helguera was sent off for the hosts early on. Real then turned it around with goals from Luis Figo before Garcia Calvo’s red card leveled the scores. Just as it was looking like it was ending in disappointment for the visitors, Demetrio Albertini leveled in the dying moments with a free kick.