Vinicius Jr, Ansu Fati, Martin Odegaard; the future of El Clásico is guaranteed

Vinicius Jr, Ansu Fati, Martin Odegaard; the future of El Clásico is guaranteed

When the kick-off whistle sounds at Camp Nou this Saturday, it will be for LaLiga's biggest game, the El Clasico; Barcelona against eternal rivals, Real Madrid. 

It will be one of it's kind as the Camp Nou will not be buzzing with over 80,000 fans the world is used to, due to the COVID-19 protocols. 

The two sides have been going at it since 1929, and every year, there are new storylines, fresh twists that more than underline the importance of the fixture. 

El Clasico has over the years served us with some of the greatest rivalries on the pitch including the likes of the legendary Johan Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano, Rivaldo, Maradona, Ronaldinho, and most recently Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Karim Benzema are also key characters of the script.

Things however seem to be changing. Lionel Messi came close to leaving in the summer and there are question marks about his long-term future.  

Will football's biggest match lose its spark if Messi leaves, or once he exits the stage? Many would argue so but, both teams have exciting youngsters who will take on the mantle and ensure the rivalry is preserved.

🇧🇷 Vinicius Junior

Vinicius' individual brilliance sets him apart. He has won games for Real Madrid time and again and has been likened to a young Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The winger already has a record to his name as he became the youngest goal-scorer in Spain’s most famous fixture in the 21st century, a record previously held by Messi, who bagged a hat-trick in 2007.

On Wednesday night, he showed how important he is for Zinedine Zidane's side when he scored 14 seconds after coming on as a substitute in Madrid's  3-2 loss to Shakhtar in the Champions League group opener. 

At 20, the Brazilian can only get better and can grow into one of the best in the game. 

🇪🇸 Fati Ansu

Ansu needs little introduction. The 17-year-old already looks indispensable for both club and country. He has been brilliant this season, liking up well with Messi and banging in goals. 

Just like Vinicius, he has his name in El Classico's history books. He became the youngest player to take the pitch during el clásico since 1941, edging out Bojan Krkić.

He has an eye for goal and might be the heir to Messi's throne, well, not entirely, but he is a beacon of hope for many of the club's fans. 

🇳🇴 Martin Odegaard

Odegaard will sadly miss this weekend's clash having picked an injury last week, but has, for the short period he has been around, showed why he is among the most exciting youngsters in world football.

The 21-year-old was brilliant for Real Sociedad last season, prompting Zidane to recall him into his midfield.

He is seen as a natural successor to Luka Modric, and even though many Madrid fans are yet to see him dazzle in the famous white, his silky play will surely transform the club's midfield once he settles in well. 

His work rate and ability to effortlessly set up goals is what sets him apart and he showed this during the international break as Norway tore up Romania. 

🇺🇸 Sergino Dest 

Dest arrived at Camp Nou this summer with a growing reputation and is one of the fastest-growing attacking wing-backs, able to play as a right-back as well. 

Finally, Barcelona might have found the next Dani Alves, with his dynamism the greatest weapon. 

He loves making those forward runs that always yield goals, and spends a lot of time in the opponent's half, delivering delicious crosses into the box. 

He also has speed and skills to complement his overall play and will for sure be one to watch in the coming seasons. 

Messi and Ronaldo might have been the greatest storyline in the fixture, but their exit will give rise to new similar battles, rivalries, that will always define Spain's biggest match.

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