Every season, as soon as the calendar comes out, there are certain games that fans circle on the calendar and rush to buy tickets for. With one of the biggest domestic basketball rivalries in the world to count on, plus several international ones that have intensified over the years, Real Madrid fans have plenty of options to choose from, including these five that are sure to whet their appetite.
Round 8: El Clásico says it all
The first El Clásico of any EuroLeague season is a monument to anticipation well beyond the fan bases of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona . This time, Real will try to maintain the momentum of having won five of the last six editions of this marquee matchup, although Barcelona claimed their most recent duel. This is one of the biggest rivalries anywhere in sports. Regardless of the standings at any point of the season, Real playing Barcelona is one of the hottest tickets in town. It will be no different this season, especially with former Real star Nikola Mirotic wearing the jersey of Barcelona now.
Round 10: A global rivalry like no other
With 50 games and almost as many years behind it, Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow is arguably the world's richest international basketball rivalry. Not only do they have the most EuroLeague titles – Real with 10 and CSKA with eight – but they last met in a thrilling clash in the 2019 semifinals, won by the Russians, who went on to become EuroLeague champion. The result of games between these two teams usually have impact on the final standings in the top part of the table, and expect it to be no different this season.
Round 14: Messina returns to Madrid
Duels between Real Madrid and AX Armani Exchange Milan always have a historic flavor to them, and this season gets some extra spice with the return of Ettore Messina to the EuroLeague with Milan. Messina was Real's coach from 2009 to 2011, resigning just before winning qualification to the 2011 Final Four, the team's first in 15 years. The hosts have not lost this decade to Milan, a string of 12 consecutive victories, but Real's old coach will try to change that for sure.
Round 25: Into the lion's den
The last three meetings of these two giants in Istanbul have been decided by two points or less, which should be more than enough to whet any fan's appetite for another visit by Real to play Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. Real coach Pablo Laso won the 1995 EuroLeague as a player with Los Blancos while coached by current Fenerbahce boss, Zeljko Obradovic. Their duels on the sidelines this last decade have been some of the most compelling in the sport of basketball, so expect plenty of drama anytime their teams share the same court.
Round 26: The Greens once again
Thanks to consecutive playoffs series, no two EuroLeague teams have played each other more in the last three seasons, under the competition's new format, than Real and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. One reason for that was Rudy Fernandez winning their game in Athens last spring with an unbelievable buzzer-beater that ultimately assured that both teams would meet again in the playoffs. Real got the best of Panathinaikos for a second year in a row, which only assures that the Greens, late in this regular season, will be want nothing more than to get a share of revenge in Real's house.