Messi and Ronaldo Lead Their Teams To Huge La Liga Matchups in 2016

Europe’s most prestigious soccer league marches into the new year with a plethora of intense showdowns in the crosshairs. Reigning champions Barcelona haven’t missed a beat as global superstar Lionel Messi has rebounded from a knee injury to help his team own the top spot in the La Liga standings.

Messi has certainly done his part with 11 goals, but Barcelona’s explosive offense has been paced by Luis Suarez (leads all of La Liga with 18 goals) and Neymar (16 goals). Barcelona isn’t without a threat moving forward in the season, however, as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid rest No. 2 and No. 3 in the standings. Real Madrid could feel like the biggest threat at first glance, due to their storied history in the league (most winningest with 32 La Liga titles) while the entertaining Cristiano Ronaldo is in top form (third in the league with 16 goals).

There is a lot to get excited about when it comes to the upcoming La Liga schedule. Let’s break it down and analyze the value of La Liga tickets according to international ticket reseller Ticketbis:

1/30/2016 - Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou

The two best teams in all of La Liga face off to get week 22 of the 2016 season going, as Barcelona (15-2-3) and Atletico Madrid (15-3-3) clash at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday, January 30. There is no denying this showdown between the top two teams in the league is the game of the week and no one should be shocked at La Liga tickets coming in at $108.68 to get started. According to Ticketbis, it’s the best selling league game of 2016 accounting for more than 20% of La Liga sales. Just one loss separates the two teams, and if Lionel Messi and co. aren’t on top of their game, we could have Atletico reclaim first place position by the end of the week.

2/28/2016 - Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Real Madrid rests comfortably in third place going into the new week but come February 28th it’s very possible they could move up in the La Liga ranks. Even if that isn’t the case they may have the opportunity to do just that in this clash with Atletico Madrid. It should be a high intensity showdown with a lot on the line, which shouldn’t having fans balking at the price of Real Madrid tickets. Win or lose, the presence of national star Cristiano Ronaldo is usually enough to make up for the cost of tickets, which start out at $121.77.

3/13/2016 - Sevilla vs. Villarreal at Estadio Ramon Sanchez

There’s no denying that Barcelona and the two “Madrid” teams are the top dogs in La Liga right now, but we probably can’t write off the likes of Villareal just yet. Sevilla is much further down the standings and may not have the offense to make a big climb, but this is still looking like a huge March game for both sides. Kevin Gameiro leads the way for underdog Sevilla, but he could be on his own against a more balanced Villarreal squad. No matter how the match turns out, fans from both sides are in for a solid bargain, with Sevilla and Villarreal tickets starting out at just $75.48.

4/3/2016 - El Clasico - Real Madrid vs. Barcelona at Camp Nou

Spain’s soccer civil war rages on in early April, as fans get the matchup that defines hype with Real Madrid and Barcelona go to battle. It’s a clash of megastars with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the field, and it’s also a showdown of quite possibly the two best teams in Europe. The two sides have met an astonishing 262 times in history and have combined for a remarkable 55 La Liga titles, with Barcelona winning last season. Barcelona also got the upper hand in their last showdown in November blanking Real Madrid, 4-0. Needless to say, the star power, history and revenge aspect all come together to make this the top La Liga game remaining on the regular schedule. El Clasico tickets are understandably rather expensive, with the get-in price starting around $509 and VIP tickets climbing all the way up to $14,000.

5/1/2016 - Athletic Bilbao vs Celta Vigo at Estadio de San Mames

Our last look at La Liga comes between Ath Bilbao (9-4-8) and Celta Vigo (10-4-7). Ath Bilbao is certainly struggling to this point in the season, but a capable offense lead by Aritz Aduriz (13 goals) remains a threat. It could especially be a problem for Celta Vigo, who hasn’t exhibited the strongest defense (33 goals allowed) through their first 21 contests. This one doesn’t have the allure of a Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid showdown, but it could be rather entertaining and potentially even high-scoring. That potential shouldn’t have fans too worked up over tickets starting out around $189.