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Zidane blames Barca for Madrid's guard of honour snub

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane maintains LaLiga champions Barcelona will not receive a guard of honour at El Clasico.

NEWS
News 05 May 2018, 17:42 IST
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ZinedineZidane - cropped
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane

Barcelona only have themselves to blame for Real Madrid not giving the freshly crowned LaLiga champions a guard of honour ahead of Sunday's Clasico, according to Zinedine Zidane.

Ernesto Valverde's men sealed their procession to the title with a 4-2 win at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, meaning there is only the usually ample amounts of pride to play for when Barca meet their bitter rivals at Camp Nou.

Madrid were greeted on to the field by a guard of honour – a pasillo to give the act its Spanish name – in 2008 by Barca having already been crowned champions and went on to a 4-1 Clasico win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona refused to offer a repeat performance at this season's game in Madrid last December, which came in the aftermath of Zidane's side lifting the Club World Cup and this remains the key sticking point for the Frenchman.

"I am not the one to decide," he told a pre-match news conference. "After the Club World Cup I understand that for them it was not important to make the pasillo.

"Some say they were not in the competition – it is a lie. You have to win the Champions League to play in the Club World Cup.

"I am not the one to decide that I do not want to do the pasillo, they did not do it, we respect it; we will not do it because they did not do it.

"The most important thing is that we respect what Barcelona have done, winning the league, which for me is the most beautiful and the most complicated thing.

"But that [the lack of a guard of honour at the Bernabeu] happened. In my opinion, not the club's, if they had made the pasillo I was not going to break anything that went before."

An easier subject to unify around this Clasico weekend is the desire to give one of the fixture's greatest ever players, Andres Iniesta, a fitting send off when he turns out in the match for Barcelona one last time.

"The main thing, as I said the other day, is he is a player that we admire," Zidane added. "He is not just any player.

"He is a person we all know and we will greet him, congratulate him and wish him luck for the future."

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