The Day that Real Madrid were humiliated 6-2 by Barcelona at home and Messi became a goalscorer, they were in the running.

Ten years ago the Spanish league was defined in the Santiago Bernabeu, the Merengues believed that they were assured of victory against their lifelong rival: Barcelona, coached by Pep Guardiola, who with a brilliant strategy of technical alignment managed to propel 6 goals to Real Madrid. Establishing that afternoon of May 2, 2009 as a humiliating evening for Real Madrid fans.

it was the month of May 2009 and the crucial matches were played, on the calendar to know the champion of the Spanish league season.
On May 9th, two of the most important football teams in Spain and Europe were playing against each other: EL REAL MADRID and EL BARCELONA
The Merengues had had a heart attack season in the league and a great campaign full of good results from the hand of Juande Ramos.
Achieving a position as leaders of the Championship 4 points ahead of Barcelona, which at that time was led by Pep Guardiola who would become one of the coaches most loved and remembered by the fans bulgranas.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona, a quintessential Spanish classic

There were only 4 dates left and for the Whites this was a great opportunity to place themselves in the definitive lead and thus consecrate their seventh match in a row won. It was also the perfect opportunity to improve their image after their elimination from the Champions League by Liverpool weeks earlier.

Juande Ramos was in a rather uncomfortable situation at the time as he felt the pressure of the Merengue club management, after being eliminated against Jose Mourinho’s Liverpool, and after being considered by the press to win the European Super Cup that same year.
Ramos had been hired to manage the whites after his successes managing the sevilla, began his recruitment in December 2008, but the blow that suffered his directed against Barcelona would lead to his resignation a month later, being replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.

Juande Ramos, technical coach of Real Madrid in 2009.

Barcelona arrived with a regular-season after the resignation of coach Frank Rijkaard who had led the team since 2003, being replaced by the Spanish Josep Guardiola. He for many in its early days was a coach who was not at the level of the team he would lead; Coincidentally during the 4 years, he was in front of the team managed to win the 6 titles that the team aspired consecutively showing their technical ability.

However, his first year and a half managing Barcelona was not easy, beginning the season had great complications with the team, likewise it would have marked difference with the star of football Leonel Messi who at that time was beginning to earn the prestige that today has.

The situation of enmity between both arrived at the point in which Guardiola did not give the greeting him to Messi, and ignored it on the technical strategies that were made in crucial matches that would have the equipment like Wisla Cracovia by the champions league, even saw the possibility that the Argentinean did not go to the Olympic games of Pekin.

Pep Guardiola

In an interview with a sports media outlet years later, Guardiola acknowledged the importance of the advice given by club leader Joan Laporta on the need to give Messi more importance and how valuable it was for the team that he would go to the Beijing Olympics, advice that he welcomed and that would culminate in sporting success.
The advice was welcomed and would lead to sporting success. Messi would go on to win the gold medal in the football category at the 2008 games in China.
Pep Guardiola also confesses that during the time he trained Messi he could understand how important it was for the team and how his magic, teamwork and camaraderie would result in good football results, He  Said: “The clash with Leonel is useless and you just have to respect his situations and the confinements that he sometimes lives as a result of so much stress from situations that are new to him”.

During a press conference to an important UEFA ally, Messi would talk about Guardian years later:

“At first we did have some friction, but as we played games, we got the results we had set out to achieve each season. Guardiola is an expert in football and he knew how to use his knowledge and technical strategies to make everything easier for us and to give everything on the pitch soccer.

The  28th of May 2009:  classic played in Madrid had another explosive event, which the Barcelona players had tried to omit from the press prior to the match:

During the 2007/08 season, Barcelona were beaten 4-1 at Santiago Bernabéu and during the game the team had to make the   hall of honor to the champion, Real Madrid.

At that time Messi said “Apart from the fact that we were beaten, what hurts the most is that we did the hall”.

Guardiola with Messi during the Copa del Rey in 2011.

A few days before the sports meeting at the Bernabeu, the experienced former football player and now the new coach of Barcelona Josep Guardiola had begun to create the perfect tactic to win the match against the Merengues, he knew that he did not have it easy because he was facing a team with a history and had good players including the Argentinean Gonzalo Higuain.

For that reason several players among them Leonel Messi and Pique would speak years later about secret data of that triumphant match for the Barcelona team.
According to Messi himself, he remembers how while he was having lunch he received a phone call from Guardiola himself who told him that he had something very important to tell him and that it required his immediate presence at the sports complex.

[youtube id=”_dftrf9edwA” width=”720″ height=”450″ position=”left”]

Messi adds that what he had to comment to him was a formula that had the D.T to manage to persuade and to confuse the defense of the rival equipment for that reason he showed several videos to the Argentinean player so that he managed to understand the importance that he had in the equipment and like the position until now novel that had considered to give him to have the expected success.

Guardiola commented on this subject in particular to a reporter from the Argentinean newspaper La gaceta, years later: “We understood that if we could get Leo to move around the center he would get 80 or 90% of balls for him and he could get more bounces generated by the 2 center players, this was our biggest goal that He could get more balls.  and generate play, because we knew about messi’s group skills. I remember he looked at me and said between smiles, I’ll do magic on the court, as if I were alone”.”.

Guardiola also adds: “Messi knew all his work in the false nine position and as this would mislead the rival he always had it clear, so for me it was important to give him the necessary  motivation and confidence as well as the whole team to work in synchrony and get the results we had in that special match.

In fact, several sports commentators agreed that the move made by the technical director born in Sampedor, was a technical strategy already used in the 50’s by Adolfo Pedernera and Alfredo Di Stefano, but if you put it into practice in modern Spanish football that is very fast and skilled in the passes is something revolutionary.

The technical trick consists of placing messi of false 9 and to place the player Samuel Eto’o in point, with this it would be possible to be confused to the central ones of the rival equipment so that if one of these central ones decided to leave its position and to face it he could make a pass to the Cameroonian forward and to place it in goal position in which would be called a “one against one”.

The Spanish player players like Xavi alonso commented“Madrid didn’t have that possibility and the central defenders decided not to go out, they were confused about who to face, they didnt know what to do and Leo had a giant space to turn and face as he liked”.

Puyol Celebrating his Goal Against Real Madrid.

During the encounter the equipment merengue began obtaining the advantage with a goal of Gonzalo higuaín at 14 minutes, soon would come the retaliation of Barcelona that by means of Thierry Henry at 18 minutes obtaining the tie, more ahead at 20 Carlos Puyol puts to the Barcelonians above, consecutively at 36 minutes would come the goal of Messi leaving in silence all the swollen merengue.

After the break it seemed that Real Madrid wanted to keep their momentum of recent champions and highlight their success in the league was so he managed to discount through Sergio Ramos at 11 minutes of the second half, but the joy achieved little because Henry at 14 minutes would make a goal, Messi would score the 5 at 30 minutes and the sixth goal of the night I made piqué sealing the overwhelming victory of the Catalan team and ending the streak of 7 games unbeaten that brought the Madrid.

This triumph was not only a small revenge for the hall of honour, as some said, but also served to catapult Barcelona to win the King’s Cup, the Champions League and the  Club World Cup.

Also that same day, the Argentinean Leonel Messi consecrated his career as a goal scorer, obtaining 15 goals of the 26 total in 39 games with the Barcelona shirt.

After the conference of the match the coach of the Catalan team mentioned and exalted the virtues of Xavi alonso, Leonel messi and Iniesta, referring to “they make good any idea you may have”.

But while everything seemed to be going well at the bank of Barcelona, the mood was not so good at Real Madrid after the final whistle of the match.

Juande Ramos, the technical director of Madrid at that time, recognized the superiority of his rival and at the same time congratulated Guardiola for his good technical approach.

That day at the press conference Ramos commented:

“Although it is difficult and it hurts me to admit it, they are a step above us, I think we have to look ahead to what will happen with the team because we can’t continue to be killed as happened today and happened some time ago with Liverpool.

and added:

“Today Barcelona closed all the fields and we had no choice but to play ahead, something they knew how to take advantage of, we took that risk and today we got a defeat, now we just have to think about winning the games to come to keep the leadership of the league”.

It is worth mentioning that that iconic Barcelona match was not only part of an individual feat, but of a set  plays that were combined with a game fast full of concentration and passes at the exact moment, that allowed individual and team plays that culminated in 6 goals.

Figures from the match such as Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas also praised the work done by the Catalan team that evening and added “When you play against a steamroller, you can’t do anything”.


The fact was demoralizing for the fans and many media because the momentum and status of Real Madrid had fallen from a star, as more than 50 years ago barcelona did not receive 6 goals in his own house.

The defeat would result in the dismissal of the team’s technical director Juande Ramos a month later, as well as the incorporation of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema who promised to be a great relief to get out of the crisis in which the Merengue team was left.

 On the part of Barcelona Messi would not return to take the position of false nine if not already playing at the front player as it would usually do in games like the played against Manchester United in Rome.