Real Madrid and Barcelona went head-to-head in Las Vegas for the title of minor bragging rights on Sunday morning and it did not disappoint.
In spite of being a friendly, it was devoid of some the lifelessness that can accompany some of these matches. Both teams came to play and win, even if there was heavy rotation from half-time onwards. There was plenty of pushing, shoving and shouting involved too.
A stunning Raphinha strike won the match, but that was just one of many fascinating snippets of play on show to fans. Perhaps the next highlight of those was the battle between Antonio Rudiger and Ronald Araujo.
Two central defenders by nature, Rudiger started at left-back to the surprise of many, while Araujo took the right-back slot for Barcelona in order to control Vinicius Junior. The two were glued to each other during the melee between the two sides, somewhere between restraining each other and trying to force a submission of sorts.
Arguably the two most physically impressive players from both squads, their positions did indeed give the fans what they wanted as they engaged in a footrace down the pitch. An exciting sign of battles to come.
Qué barbaridad, Araujo. pic.twitter.com/G03kL1ZTbF
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) July 24, 2022