Cristiano Ronaldo fans in the United States won’t be very happy. Real Madrid vs Barcelona kick-off will be unusually early… very early!
It’s a big Christmas present from La Liga! On December 23, all roads will lead to Madrid and all eyes will be firmly fixed on the Santiago Bernabeu with the showdown of two of the fiercest rivals in world football bound to happen. Real Madrid will return to La Liga action by hosting Barcelona after their heroics in the FIFA Club World Cup.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 18, 2017
With pride and bragging rights between the cities of Catalonia and Madrid at stake, this one certainly needs no more hype. Whilst Real Madrid secured their second successive Club World Cup trophy in Abu Dhabi, their upcoming opponents, Barcelona, established an 11-point gap atop La Liga in their absence.
A win for the Catalans would put them 14 points ahead of Real and will virtually end the title race after just 17 games played. As a result, a lot will be required of the hosts coming into the matchup as they look to quickly recover from the fatigue accumulated during their travel.
Real Madrid in #ElClasico since Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival:
— CRonaldoDaily.com (@BreatheRonaldo) December 19, 2017
Interestingly, Real Madrid ran out as victors the last time an El Clasico game was played on Christmas Eve (2007/2008 season). A goal by Julio Baptista was enough to seal the win for Los Blancos so, who knows, Santa might pay the Bernabeu outfit a visit in his travels the same time this year!
Speaking of time, the kick-off for the blockbuster game is scheduled for 1:00 PM local time on Saturday. According to La Liga’s Chief of Communications Officer Joris Evers, the decision was made to capture the attention of fans in Asia, as well as their cash via the sales of television rights.
He further emphasized to AFP that the arrangement was made so that these fans will have “the opportunity to watch Real Madrid and Barcelona face off at a time convenient to them.” With El Clasico having an estimated number of audience in the region of 650 million, the tweak in time is just manna made from heaven for the Spanish domestic league!
Back from the technicalities, the battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and his eternal nemesis Lionel Messi will be rehashed yet again. The former appears to have found his scoring touch this season, netting in each of his last four games and, as a result, will aim to propel the Merengues to a much-needed Clasico triumph.
Ronaldo’s goal tally in the clash since joining Los Blancos stands at 17 after 28 games and is just seven more short of Lionel Messi’s tally in 36 games. Relatively, the Argentine forward who saw the former Manchester United winger equal his five Ballon d’Or wins a few weeks ago, currently sits atop La Liga’s goalscoring charts with 14 goals in 16 games – 10 more than Cristiano Ronaldo has amassed in 11 matches.
That might be a huge chasm but being conversant with Ronaldo’s prowess, the unexpected can be witnessed at any time. Roll on El Clasico!
El Clasico kick-off time in 48 cities worldwide
In the United States of America:
- Los Angeles, CA: 4:00 AM
- Phoenix, AZ: 5:00 AM
- New York, NY: 7:00 AM
- Vancouver: 4:00 AM
- Montreal: 7:00 AM
- Ottawa: 7:00 AM
In other cities in the Americas (listed alphabetically):
- Bogota, Colombia: 7:00 AM
- Brasilia, Brazil: 10:00 AM
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: 9:00 AM
- Mexico City, Mexico: 6:00 AM
- Montevideo, Uruguay: 9:00 AM
- Santiago, Chile: 9:00 AM
In Europe (listed alphabetically):
- Amsterdam, Netherlands: 1:00 PM
- Athens, Greece: 2:00 PM
- Berlin, Germany: 1:00 PM
- Dublin, Ireland: 12:00 PM
- Istanbul, Turkey: 3:00 PM
- Lisbon, Portugal: 12:00 PM
- London, England: 12:00 PM
- Madrid, Spain: 1:00 PM
- Moscow, Russia: 3:00 PM
- Oslo, Norway: 1:00 PM
- Paris, France: 1:00 PM
- Rome, Italy: 1:00 PM
- Stockholm, Sweden: 1:00 PM
⏳ El Clásico is coming… pic.twitter.com/MqSe7c1o2r
— Real Madrid C.F.?? (@realmadriden) December 20, 2017
In Asia and the Pacific (listed alphabetically):
- Bangkok, Thailand: 7:00 PM
- Beijing, China: 8:00 PM
- Dubai, UAE: 4:00 PM
- Islamabad, Pakistan: 5:00 PM
- Jakarta, Indonesia: 7:00 PM
- Kabul, Afghanistan: 4:30 PM
- Kathmandu, Nepal: 5:45 PM
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 8:00 PM
- New Delhi, India: 5:30 PM
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 3:00 PM
- Seoul, South Korea: 9:00 PM
- Sydney, Australia: 11:00 PM
- Tokyo, Japan: 9:00 PM
In Africa (listed alphabetically):
- Algiers, Algeria: 1:00 PM
- Bamako, Mali: 12:00 PM
- Cairo, Egypt: 2:00 PM
- Cape Town, South Africa: 2:00 PM
- Dakar, Senegal: 12:00 PM
- Lagos, Nigeria: 1:00 PM
- Luanda, Angola: 1:00 PM
- Nairobi, Kenya: 3:00 PM
- Rabat, Morocco: 12:00 PM
- Yaoundé, Cameroon: 1:00 PM
What is your excuse to miss the last Clasico of the year 2017? Set your alarm if you need to!