Messi is 'the best player in history'

Messi's celebration, parading his shirt, sparked a fierce reaction from many Madrid fans on the stands behind the goal, where only a few people wearing Barcelona colors could be seen.

"He is the best player for me in history and I have seen a lot of football", Enrique said. And without him able to make a difference, Barcelona were able to revive what had looked a moribund title race.

So that's 500 goals in just 577 appearances for Messi, and he's still only 29 years old.

Messi went on to score the victor in a 3-2 win for Barca following Ramos' dismissal, with the defender having exchanged words with fellow Spain global Gerard Pique on his way from the field.

"I'm disappointed for him because he wanted to play and this is something we can't control.

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That punishes you because in the end our opponents are very good teams that can do damage, and [Barca] did that".

While the first video takes you back to 2005 when Messi scored his first goal for Barca, the second video captures Ronaldinho, Sergio Aguero and Andres Iniesta paying a tribute to the best footballer in the world.

Messi had not scored in the Clasico in three years but he more than made up for the goal-drought in this encounter and lead his team to victory. "It is an honour and a blessing for the club to have him".

By contrast, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was left to lament his side's adventurous nature in conceding in stoppage-time after being reduced to 10 men.

After Casemiro put Madrid ahead, Messi equalised before half-time.

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Real will be without captain Sergio Ramos for the trip after he was sent off against Barcelona and have Nacho as their only recognised senior centre-back, with Pepe and Raphael Varane out injured.

However, Madrid rallied when a man down as substitute James Rodriguez fired home an equaliser four minutes from time.

"Nothing changes, we still have things in our own hands and we are only thinking about Wednesday's game", Zidane said.

"We don't get carried away when we win and we won't get down after a defeat".

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