It is of little surprise then that the mood of Madrid is one of optimism, while Barcelona fans are in a cloud of depression that the 40 million euro ($45 million) signing of Brazilian worldwide on Monday did little to disperse.
Barcelona v Real Madrid: What's the team news?
The range of talent in Real's squad explains why their recent transfer activities have been geared towards building for the future rather than the immediate present, bringing in 19-year-old full back Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid and Spain under-21 midfielder Dani Ceballos. The El Clasico match-up did not disappoint as Real Madrid was victorious with a score of 3-1.
Real Madrid's Isco celebrates the second goal.
The evening, however, did not go in the way that Gerry and Barcelona would have hope.
While Barcelona are still reeling from Neymar's world-record exit to Paris St Germain - and racing to replace him before the end of the month - Madrid have just wrapped up the UEFA Super Cup and agreed a new contract with league and Champions League-winning coach Zinedine Zidane.
"He didn't feign anything at any moment", protested Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
Barcelona, which is in the Super Cup as the reigning Copa del Rey victor, will play its second match since the stunning departure of Neymar after Paris Saint-Germain paid a record 222 million euros ($262 million) to trigger the release clause in his contract.
"I'm very happy to have the confidence Real Madrid shows in me. But we will see the team tomorrow". Avoiding defeat in the first official match is something that Real Madrid will prioritize, so the starting formation doesn't look to offensive.
The game exploded into life after the break, following an uncharacteristically quiet first 45 minutes.
In the 2014 Spanish Super Cup, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone was handed an eight-match suspension after he tapped the back of a linesman's head.
Finding a replacement for Neymar will undoubtedly be Valverde's toughest task.
His indecisiveness may have been nerves, I mean, this was arguably the biggest game he's ever played in. But Barcelona lost Neymar - who had been their best player during preseason - and truthfully, no one knows how they will react to the loss of their star forward.