Whenever Real Madrid and FC Barcelona face off on the football field, epic-ness is almost guaranteed to happen. The latest of these encounters was on this year’s El Clasico, the Spanish championship match held Sunday, April 24, which saw a viciously fought battle between the longtime rival teams. It was also something of a personal duel between two men, the star players of their respective sides: Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. This game, which saw a lead change or two, resulted in a worth victory for Barcelona that puts them on top of La Liga and, for Messi’s part, a milestone achievement reached at the end of the game with his last kick and winning goal being the 500th of his career.

Back and forth

As the 2017 Spanish League championship game went underway, first blood was drawn by Real Madrid on FC Barcelona, courtesy of the former’s Brazilian footballer Casemiro. With minutes ticking by, Lionel Messi went and scored one for his team, equalizing with Madrid. As the game began to draw to its conclusion the deadlock was broken by Barcelona’s Croatian striker Ivan Rakitic, making the score 1-2. With 15 minutes remaining of play, Madrid’s Sergio Ramos made a diving kick challenge to Messi’s possession of the ball, which only earned him a red card for his troubles. Though matters seemed to be looking Barcelona’s way by this point, their eternal rival rallied despite being reduced to 10 players on the field, with Colombian James Rodriguez scoring the second equalizer of this El Clasico for Madrid.

It was coming down to the wire for this championship game, but it would not be extended any longer than necessary thanks to Messi stepping up for his fellows once more.

A fierce counteroffensive by Barcelona put their Argentine ace to kick the ball into the opposing net’s bottom corner, and that was it. This time around, Real Madrid and Ronaldo were humbled by FC Barcelona, 2-3. It was Messi’s last goal kick of the game and added to his all-career total of a celebration-worthy 500.

Memetic Messi

The 2017 Spanish Championship, aside from the heated lead changes and the milestone for Lionel Messi, was also a veritable font of moments that were commented on – where else? – Twitter. One memorable image of this El Clasico was Messi with a wad of tissues in his mouth for a significant portion of the game; it was needed to staunch some bleeding after an elbow to the face from Real Madrid’s other Brazilian, Marcelo. Much hay was also made of Messi’s goal #500, where he was remarkably calm in slotting the ball past the Madrid goalie Keylor Navas. While Ronaldo lost this one, he at least managed to make his own landmark at a previous Madrid game, his career’s 100th Champions League goal against Bayern Munich.