If Real Madrid break the record for the longest unbeaten run in Spanish history against Sevilla it will taste sweeter for coming at the expense of arch-rivals Barcelona.
Barcelona’s 2015/16 side previously held the record when they went 39 games unbeaten before Madrid joined them after beating Granada last weekend.
For a bit of context Barcelona were only behind for 139 minutes of the 3510 minutes they played while Madrid were behind for 185 minutes out of 3600. Impressive stuff.
But let’s settle the argument before it has even started. Who’s better- Real Madrid’s current side or Barcelona’s 2015/16 side?
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo v Keylor Navas
Both Bravo and Navas are capable of producing breathtaking saves and showcasing stunning agility.
While some in England might not be particularly impressed with Bravo’s performances for City this is still a man who won back to back ‘Best Goalkeeper’ awards at Barcelona.
Navas has had to fight off understudy Kiko Casilla to keep the gloves this season but his mastering of the basics just about shades it over Bravo.
Right-back: Dani Alves v Dani Carvajal
The Dani derby.
When it comes to attacking right-backs Alves is arguably the best of his generation and, if you were being generous, one of the best ever.
While Carvajal is no mug he’s simply comes up against a better opponent. Alves all day.
Left-back: Jordi Alba v Marcelo
Both Alba and Marcelo are ‘defenders’ in the loosest of terms.
As with the battle for the right-back slot this is one great player coming up against an even better one.
Marcelo has made left-back beautiful again and while he might not have the defensive stability of someone like Ashley Cole he is still a modern great.
Centre-back: Gerard Pique v Raphael Varane
Two giants who bring style as well as substance to the heart of the defence.
In time Varane could be as good, if not better, than Pique but when the Spaniard is on top of his game there aren’t many better.
In 2015/16 Pique was an absolute rock, while his ability to play out from the back was key to Barcelona’s passing game. He wins this one.
Centre-back: Javier Mascherano v Sergio Ramos
If it was possible to bottle aggression then Mascherano and Ramos’ sweat would be a main ingredient.
While a fiery temperament can get both in trouble more often than not it’s the opposition striker who ends up losing his temper.
But for the pure volume of vital goals Ramos has scored he pips Mascherano to the other centre-back spot. After all, without him Madrid’s run would have ended a long time ago.
Defensive midfield: Sergio Busquets v Casemiro
Two different approaches to playing the shielding role, both effective in their own right.
Busquets can send a defender into a different postcode with the faintest sway of the hips while Casemiro bludgeons anyone bold enough to enter his radius.
Busquets has turned the through ball inside the full-back into a balletic art and for that he can anchor our midfield. Sorry Cas.
Central midfield: Ivan Rakitic v Luka Modric
Croatia’s two favourite sons dovetail with telepathic ease when it comes to playing for the national team, but what about when they’re compared with each other?
Modric is genuinely world-class whereas Rakitic can boss a game on his day but hasn’t looked as comfortable when the team rely on him for creativity.
This one goes to you, Luka.
Central midfield: Andres Iniesta v Toni Kroos
Now it’s getting tricky. The two tempo specialists.
Kroos has a cruise missile (Kroos missile, get it?) built into both feet meaning whether it’s short distance or long distance he’s finding his team-mate.
But Iniesta is Iniesta. El Cerebro. What he can’t do with a football isn’t worth doing.
Right wing: Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo
This one comes down to preference, doesn’t it?
Allow us to put our neutral hat on, and our tin hat while we’re at it.
It would take a whole thesis to debate the talents of the two but we can only pick one. We’re afraid it has to be Messi. But CR7 wouldn’t be a bad option off the bench, would he?
Left wing: Neymar v Gareth Bale
Neymar is going through his toughest run of form since joining from Santos but that shouldn’t take away from the joy he is to watch.
That being said we’re going to plump for Bale on this one because of how rounded his game has become at Madrid.
From a skinny left-back to one of the most powerful attackers in world football. Not to mention he’s Britain’s finest ever footballing export.
Striker: Luis Suarez v Karim Benzema
Suarez could be facing a heavy ban after punching Villarreal’s goalkeeper while Benzema’s rap sheet isn’t exactly small.
But when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net there are fewer better than Suarez and Benzema.
Suarez gets the nod due to his ability to sacrifice everything for the team, but we’d bring Benzema off the bench by which time the Uruguayan would have run the defence ragged.