Lionel Messi Barcelona
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi during a training session, 15 April. Reuters

In recent seasons, the El Clasico -- Barcelona vs Real Madrid - has always been about two of the best players in the world in two of the biggest teams in Europe going head-to-head. However, while Lionel Messi will very much be visible, looking to urge his team to a title, his nemesis and great rival Cristiano Ronaldo will be consigned to watch from the stands.

Where to Watch Live:

The El Clasico final is scheduled for a 9.30 pm local time (1 am IST, 8.30 pm BST, 3.30 pm ET) start with live coverage on Ten Acion and Ten HD in India. The game can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the US HERE, in the UK HERE and in Latin America HERE. Watch the came in the Middle East and North Africa HERE, while the action can be live streamed in Sub Saharan Africa and South Africa HERE

The Portuguese superstar has been ruled out of the Copa Del Rey final against Barcelona at the Mestalla, leaving Real Madrid having to fill a massive void.

"The team's approach is the same with or without Ronaldo," Real manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "It's a final and we have to do our own thing. Obviously we have to consider the quality of the opposing team but the plan for the match is to try and get all of our quality on the pitch.

"The decision is that he is not available to play because it is a risk to put him on the field. We still have very important matches this season.

"Ronaldo has not rested because he was not in a position to rest. We have not seen any signs of a tired player. If he were, he would not have played. Ronaldo has reached a time in the season that many players reach. We were careful with Cristiano as we have always tried to be careful with all the players."

With Ronaldo out, the onus will naturally fall towards the man who took over the world's most expensive player mantle from Ronaldo - Gareth Bale. The Welshman has been in good form, and if he can produce that magical left foot of his to great effect on a couple of occasions during the game, then Real will be confident of picking up the title.

However, Barcelona also have a left-footed wonder of their own and Messi, after a couple of below-par performances against Atletico Madrid and Granada in the Champions League and La Liga respectively, will be desperate to regain his verve in the biggest of games.

Messi struck a hat-trick the last time the two teams played each other, with Barcelona picking up a controversial 4-3 victory over Real in the La Liga. That result, ironically, opened up the Spanish league title opportunity to Atletico Madrid, with Barca currently third favourites to defend their crown after a disappointing defeat to Granada at the weekend.

Real have found their mojo after a minor blip, and will go into the game as the team showing the better form. Barcelona, who will be without Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique, will be well aware of the positive impact a win over their biggest rivals can produce, with silverware being an extra incentive.

Expected lineups: Barcelona: Pinto; Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Fabregas, Messi, Neymar.

Real Madrid: Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Illarramendi, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Di Maria.