Neither FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, arguably the best soccer player in the world, nor Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, scored for their respective clubs as the two titans of Spanish soccer played to a 1-1 tie in the first leg of their semifinal of the Copa del Rey – Spain’s premier soccer tournament.

The game saw Messi’s streak of 16 consecutive goal-scoring starts come to an end. Messi did, however, get an assist on a goal by Cesc Fabregas in the 50th minute, which gave Barcelona the lead. The lead was lost In the 81st minute when Rapheal Varane came up with the equalizer for Real Madrid.

Varane’s goal and efforts on defense earned him the praise of Madrid’s coaching staff. “For a 19-year-old, you can't ask for more," assistant manager Aitor Karanka told The Guardian. "He's a kid who is progressing, who's sensible, and we're very happy with him. He was perfect tonight."

In the Copa del Rey, teams advance based on the aggregate scores of their matches. In short, whoever has the most goals at the end of the two matches advances. These teams will play in the second leg of the semifinal on Feb. 27. The other semi-final games will be contested between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who will compete in their first matchup on Thursday. The victorious teams will meet for a final game on a date not yet disclosed.

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