Barcelona vs Real Madrid, La Liga

Zinedine Zidane explains why Real Madrid will not give Barcelona a guard of honour before El Clasico
El Clasico: Zidane rules out guard of honour for Barca

07 May, 2018

If Iniesta is fit to start, Valverde will have to choose between Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho and Ousmane Dembele for the remaining slot in midfield, with former Liverpool man Coutinho looking his most likely option.

"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". Obviously, we want to win, irrelevant of the table - and they will too, given the situation and our rivalry.

Ronaldo's absence was not felt in that league tie, with Los Blancos winning 2-1 against Leganes, but he is expected start in attack at Camp Nou as Madrid look to end Barcelona's 34-game unbeaten run in La Liga this season. "I played with him for a season".

But the club are already planning for next season with the transfer window just weeks away from reopening.

"La Liga, for coaches, is the one that tells you how a team has been for the whole year". Ultimately the best team win it.

"We have to finish as high as possible and what matters most to me is to prepare for the Champions League final and that is done through our intensity in the matches".

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"Luckily for us, we're champions already".

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted Real Madrid's decision not to give his side a guard of honour is not considered disrespectful.

Head coach Zinedine Zidane says there is plenty of respect for his rivals but there will be no guard of honour: "We will not do a guard of honour because they didn't do one for us". "It seems good to me, I do not care".

Barcelona were on the front foot from the off and found their opener on 10 minutes when Luis Suarez smashed a first-time volley from an inch-perfect Sergi Roberto cross past Keylor Navas.

It seems extremely petty from the Frenchman and his side and one can't help but think that giving the World Club Cup winners a guard of honour has never been a thing before.

"He's a player we admire, not just any other player, and we all know how he is as a person", Zidane said.

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