It was more than a friendly game. It needed a stunner to settle the issue. And it came from Raphinha. A match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, whatever the occasion, is always a tasty affair for any football aficionado. And on Sunday, the two La Liga giants were involved in a heated pre-season match in front of a packed, vociferous Allegiant Stadium crowd in Las Vegas. A treat football fans. By the way, this intriguing El Clasico was part of the Soccer Champions Tour 2022. (More Football News)
Raphinha, who joined the Catalans earlier this month from English Premier League outfit Leeds in a move worth more than $60m, feasted on an Eder Militao mistake in Real Madrid's defensive third. The 25-year-old Brazilian fired into the top corner to beat Thibaut Courtois in the 27th minute.
Watch the screamer here:
And sparks also flew during the match. Following a Jordi Alba challenge on Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo and Sergio Busquets almost came to blows.
Barcelona won the match deservedly, and if it was not for the Belgian custodian, the margin of defeat for the reigning Spanish and European champions would have been bigger. Courtois made a string of saves to deny Xavi Hernandez's men a second goal.
The match also witnessed club debuts for Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) and Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni, both for Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti, however, decided not to name his talisman Karim Benzema in the Real Madrid matchday squad. The Frenchman only joined pre-season training this week.
Barcelona made five changes at the break, while Real Madrid brought in six new players, including the veteran pair of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Other teams taking part in the Soccer Champions Tour 2022 are Serie A giants Juventus, Liga MX’s Club America and Club Deportivo Guadalajara. The matches are being played in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles.