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“Guard of Honor for Barca? After the CWC, it wasn’t important for them to give us one.” – Zidane

Real Madrid boss briefs Media ahead of ‘El Clasico’ on Sunday. Discusses the squad availability and the topic of ‘Pasillo’.

Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)

Real Madrid travels to Catalunya this Sunday for playing Barcelona in the second leg of La Liga. ‘Los Vikingos’ aim to end the unbeaten run of the ‘Blaugrana’ club.

The French coach Zinedine Zidane believes his squad is ready for the game and the said the ones who aren’t at 100 percent fitness will be given time to recover but he will not rest players just because he wants to prevent injuries. This comes after the reports which suggested he’ll play his youth side so that the veterans are reserved for Kiev.

“We’re in good shape, we’ve rested well and we’re ready for tomorrow’s game.”

“It’s a game in which three points are at stake; the outcome of the league isn’t going to change, but we have to do everything to win. As for the players who are carrying niggles [Varane and Isco], if a player isn’t right then they won’t play, but we have enough squad depth to replace them.”

“I’m not going to think about the risk of injury, not at all, if that were the case, there’d be no point playing tomorrow or in our four or five remaining games. If a player isn’t at 100%, though, he won’t play; but as for the rest, they’ll play as always.”

“Avoiding injuries in Clásico? We can’t think about that. We have to focus on the game and on playing with intensity. It’s true that this year because the title is already decided, there is less expectation, but that’s normal. Before the match, it’s like that, but when the game starts I don’t think that’ll be the case.”

Zinedine Zidane talked about Iniesta and was in praise of the retiring Barcelona legend who plays his last El Clasico of his professional career.

“Iniesta is a player we admire and who isn’t just any other player – we all know what he’s done and the type of person he is. We can only congratulate him and wish him all the best of luck for the future.”

Zidane also talked about his team captain Sergio Ramos who has been giving in performances which have kept Real Madrid alive this season in hope of silverware.

“Sergio Ramos is our leader, our captain. To say that he’s important for everyone is an understatement. He’s an example of commitment who motivates everyone around him. I’m pleased to be able to share his career with him.”

The talks of Pasillo or Gaurd of Honor have been put to rest by Zidane once again as he clarifies that Barcelona broke the tradition.

“Guard of honor for Barcelona? After the Club World Cup, it wasn’t important for them to give us a guard of honor. They say they weren’t in the competition, but that’s not true. You get into it through the Champions League [which Barça were in].”

“They didn’t give us one. What’s most important is respecting what they’ve done: They’ve won the double and I respect that, and I congratulate them on that. We’re not going to do something they didn’t do.”

“It’s more difficult to win La Liga than the Champions League. I’ve always said that: it’s more difficult.”

The 45-year-old rubbishes the talks of a flop season but admitted the team suffered in the start of the season. Also, he talks about the motivation of playing against Barcelona.

“No, our league season hasn’t been a flop. It hasn’t been a good season in La Liga; that’s true. Particularly our start to the season.”

“Playing at the Camp Nou doesn’t motivate us, it’s just another game, but against Barcelona, I’m sure there’ll be more motivated. Lately, our form has been good there, but things change.”

Zinedine Zidane sees this as a final before they play in Kiev against Liverpool for their third consecutive UCL title. He has urged his squad to put in an effort as it is a final.

Reports suggest Zidane is annoyed by the unbeaten run of Barcelona and is willing to put in extra effort for beating them It will work for the confidence of his own team as they set their motives for the conquest of “Decimatrecero’. 

Real Madrid have their prestige on the line as they play against Barcelona. The Catalan team has already been crowned the champions of La Liga. While the Spanish capital side has managed to get a Champions League qualification.

Though the point difference is immense between the 2 clubs with 15 points. Real Madrid have an extra motivation to stop Barcelona from winning the league with an unbeaten run and stop them from getting the tag of ‘Invincibles’.

The ‘El Clasico’ will be played on Sunday, 6 May 2018 at 7:45 PM CET. The live telecast of the match will be carried out by the official broadcasting partners of La Liga Santander.

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