On May 6th, these two giants of modern soccer will clash in another highly anticipated El Clásico. Lionel Messi and his Barça brothers hold bragging rights over Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Los Blancos, since Barcelona won the last showdown 3-0. Will the Blaugrana show their championship form, or will Real Madrid spoil their victory celebrations? Catch all the action, drama, and suspense of El Clásico on May 6th, on beIN Sports.
The battle for La Liga glory is heating up! Don’t miss the epic El Clásico showdown between Real Madrid and Barcelona on May 6th.
of wins to the
of wins go to the
|Alfredo Di Stéfano||18|
An El Clásico icon, beIN SPORTS’ José Hernández has been a celebrated voice behind the legendary matchup for the last 12 years. Marking his 13th game this year, Hernandez has a history watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battle it out against each other as two of the greatest players in the sport today. With over 20 years in broadcasting, calling matches like El Clásico has been a lifelong dream for this Miami native. Hernandez took time to sit down with DIRECTV to talk about the rivalry, the game, and what El Clásico means to him.
How many El Clásicos have you called as an announcer?
I believe this upcoming one on May 6th will be my 13th with BeIN Sports! My boss just told me the other day, "Did you know that you're the announcer that's called the most El Clásicos in the US?" I had no idea!
Do you have a favorite El Clásico match or moment that has really stuck with you?
Every El Clásico is special, to be honest with you. You don't know what to expect, and a lot of times when you expect one thing, the outcome will be completely different. Of the 12 that I've called, there's one that really sticks in my mind, and will probably be with me forever. On November 18th, 2015, my father passed away. I was on my way to Spain to call the Clásico, and I had to basically change all my plans. Three days later on the 21st, my partner Eduardo Sayed, who's no longer at the company, and I called what was in the end a very special game. Not only because of the performances of the players, but also because of what I was going through personally. I'm sure my father was watching from heaven, and I'm sure he wanted me to be there. I had to put a lot of effort into being there mentally, but I was ready to go once I heard the blow of the whistle.
Is the Messi-Ronaldo era the greatest era in the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry?
Yeah, I really think so. Of course there have been some really great rivalries before, between these two teams. Real Madrid had La Quinta del Buitre, their five great players back in the '80s. Barcelona also had a Dream Team back then, but nothing like this. I think we have the two biggest stars in the world, the two best strikers in the world going head to head. Since Messi made his debut with Barcelona back in the '04-'05 season, he has come out with 378 goals in La Liga. 378 goals! Then Cristiano Ronaldo had like, 318, I believe. They're bringing the level of competition between the teams, and each other to a level that we've never seen before. I don't know if we're ever going to see another level of competition like this, once these two stars decide to retire. Hopefully that won't happen too soon!
Is there another rivalry in the world of football that's as popular, or as special as this one?
I don't think there's anything else like El Clásico. There are other regional match-ups, like Boca Juniors vs River Plate in Argentina, and Celtic vs Rangers in Scotland. But El Clásico not only gets the attention of Spanish fans, but also of fans around the world. We're very fortunate to actually have this great match-up at least two to three times a year.
Barcelona has the upper hand in La Liga this season, and is aiming for a treble. But Real Madrid is trying to win its third consecutive Champions League title. Who has the better side?
Wow, that's good question! I think they're pretty even, to be honest with you. If you look at the goalkeepers, Ter Stegen for Barcelona and Keylor Navas for Real Madrid, they're both pretty good. They're going to be starting for the national teams at the next World Cup in Russia. I want to say they're probably two of the best five goalkeepers in the world right now. If you move up to the defensive line, they're pretty even too.
And then Barcelona has Messi and Luis Suarez up front. Real Madrid has the BBC—Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano. It's tough to pick one side. It all depends on what you're looking for! Do you want good style play like Barcelona, or do you want a more vertical, more offensive-minded style like Real Madrid? I think they're both pretty even.
Relive the La Liga showdown between Barcelona and Real Madrid from last December.
Don’t miss Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, live from Camp Nou in Barcelona on Sunday, May 6th, at 2:45 p.m. EST on beIN SPORTS, En Español channel 467 and in English channel 620 on DIRECTV.Enter