By Aristo Dotse in New York/Soccernet newspaper
The Spanish League’s commercial effort to further promote La Liga in the United States with their last Sunday’s El Clasico bash in New York City was a big success as Lionel Messi brought unending joy to Barcelona fans in their thrilling 3-2 away victory over Real Madrid.
Both Barca and Real fans packed the 230 Rooftop Bar in Manhattan to watch a truly great match in which Messi put up a masterly display once again to remind especially his critics that he is still the devastating little magician who won record five FIFA Player of the Year titles, including a consecutive four, in inspiring Barcelona to a deserving victory at the home of their great rivals. In so doing, he brought endless joy to the many Barca followers who thronged the 230 Rooftop Bar on Fifth Avenue in La Liga’s celebration of Sunday’s El Clasico in New York.
An all-important victory, it took Barcelona back on top of the La Liga table, on goal difference and superior head-to-head record, although Real Madrid still have a game in hand, with five round of matches to go.
On a memorable night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Messi’s two goals, which included a last-minute winner, did not only help Barca to a sweet victory but they also provided him a milestone of 500 goals for the Catalan giants.
His fantastic brace, his first goals in seven El Clasico matches, extended his leading role in the list of scorers in El Clasico history to 23, seven more than closest rival Ronaldo. Both goals also increased his leading mark in the goal-king chart to 31, also seven more than nearest player, team-mate Luis Suarez.
Now with this La Liga El Clasico’s New York promotion done and gone successfully, the real action – first El Clasico to be played a neutral venue, in fact outside Spain – will happen on US soil in Miami, Florida, in July when Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and company will square off in a mega pre-season friendly in the ever-growing annual International Champions Cup tournament. And a huge crowd, some of who joined the El Clasico bash in New York, is anticipated at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on July 29.
Ahead of that rare El Clasico date in Miami, beIN Sports, La Liga’s official TV broadcaster in the US who did a live TV interview show with Real Madrid legend Raul and former Barcelona star Gianluca Zambrotta at the rooftop bash, did a promotion for fans to win three tickets to see in flesh Barca and Real meet in Miami.
Source: Soccernet newspaper