Barcelona and Real Madrid are going neck and neck in this season's La Liga. So are their two stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The two arch rivals will meet on April 22nd The 'El Classico" could decide who would win the league this time.

Ronaldo scored a hat trick on Wednesday against Atletico Madrid, and thus took his tally to 40 league goals, which also equals his own record of highest league goals in one season.It also made the Portugal forward the first player from Europe's major leagues to record two consecutive 40-goal seasons.

Ronaldo's hat trick put him one goal ahead of Messi in the league and took his overall season tally to 52.

Messi, however has scored 61 goals so far in this season. By now he is only two shy of Everton star Dixie Dean's tally of 63 goals, which were scored during the 1927-28 season.

Both, Messi and Ronaldo, can improve their tally on Saturday when they will face Levante and Sporting Gijon respectively.

Messi could also break Ferenc Deak's total of 66 goals for Hungary's Ferencvaros during the 1948-49 season, Brazilian icon Pele's 66-goal tally for Santos in 1958 and Germany's Gerd Mueller's 67 from 1972-73.

In his last 13 matches Messi scored 24 goals and helped his team win 10 straight games in the  league and cut down the gap from 10 points to four.

Apart from the significance of 'El Clasico', the football fans will see the duel for European scoring records between Messi and Ronaldo.

Madrid will be up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals while Barcelona will lock horns with Chelsea, and the two Spanis clubs are tipped by many to square off again in the final in Munich on May 19.

Clearly the rest of the soccer season will be revolved around 'El Clasico' and the Messi-Ronaldo battle.