Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Real Madrid to deny Barca guard of honour

Real Madrid to deny Barca guard of honour

Quite how long he is on the pitch at Camp Nou for the visit of Real Madrid depends on how well he and Barcelona's medical staff soothe the calf injury that has troubled him lately.

"We've seen this year that teams like Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis, Villarreal are all getting closer to the European competitions and they're making it more hard for Barcelona and Real Madrid than two or three years ago". There have been suggestions that Zidane should not risk some of his key players for the Champions League final in a few weeks, but the manager rebuffed them in his pre-match press conference, claiming that he intends to name a strong side.

Back in December, when Madrid returned from the United Arab Emirates having retained the Club World Cup, Barcelona did not give them a guard of honour before the first Clásico of the season. We, with respect, aren't going to do it because they didn't do it.

Deportivo La Coruna made the gesture ahead of their game against Barca last weekend while Barca gave Real a guard of honour at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008, after Los Blancos had already won the league. "Some say they were not in the competition, but you have to win the Champions League to play the Club World Cup, and we are all in the Champions League". "We keep trying." To soften the blow, Barca's best response was to win the Copa del Rey and La Liga and finish unbeaten in the league for the first time, while hoping Real do not go all the way in the Champions League.

"We've spoken a lot about this", Valverde said.

There is a sense in Spain the ceremony has become more about humiliating the defeated team, rather than congratulating the champions. "(Raphael) Varane and Isco should be fine to travel".

Andres Iniesta, meanwhile, will be gracing a Clasico for the final time as he prepares to move on this summer.

"Give up in the league?" After advancing to the Champions League final, Real Madrid would like to end Barcelona's undefeated domestic run.

Valverde said: "I have no doubt that he is speaking figuratively because we are all respectful of an opponent's players".

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