Barcelona and Real Madrid’s fierce Clasico rivalry was benched temporarily as the two clubs’ stars enjoyed some tennis at the Madrid Open.
The Catalan giants – fresh from wrapping up the La Liga title – were represented by defender Gerard Pique.
Champions League finalists Real Madrid meanwhile had both Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio lending their support to main attraction on the clay court – Rafael Nadal.
The Spanish trio’s presence was not enough to help rally Nadal to victory as he saw his emphatic run on clay – he was unbeaten on the surface in 357 days – ended by world No 7 Dominic Thiem.
It was the Austrian who was the last to beat Nadal, that came in Rome last year and fast forward to Madrid, he again proved a thorn in Nadal’s side.
Thiem is rightly considered, on his day, one of the finest clay court players currently operating beneath Nadal who remains king of the surface.
A shock end to the unbeaten run will have sharpened Pique’s mind as he will soon turn his attentions to Barcelona’s final two games against Levante and Real Sociedad.
Ernesto Valverde’s side are 180 minutes away from finishing the La Liga season without defeat – an Invincibles side.
For Real Madrid the big carrot still dangling over their season is the upcoming Champions League final against Liverpool in Kiev where both Vasquez and Asensio will be pushing to be involved.
Vazquez was tested in the semi-finals against Bayern Munich and will hope he has done enough to convince boss Zinedine Zidane.
Asensio, meanwhile, netted the vital second goal at the Allianz Arena but faces stiff competition in the striking department.