Bengaluru, April 10: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that his boys will not provide Barcelona a guard of honour if the Catalan giants win the La Liga by the time Real visit Camp Nou on May 6. The 1-1 draw in Sunday's Madrid derby between Real and Atletico helped Barcelona open up a 11-point lead at the top of the La Liga table, ensuring that Barcelona will go on to win the crown this season.
However, Zidane says there will be no guard of honour for Barcelona from Real, the 2016-17 winners, as the Catalans had failed to honour them earlier this season for winning two straight FIFA Club World Cup titles.
🗣 “I’m not the type of player to ask to swap shirts, but I have asked once... to Zidane.”— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) April 9, 2018
- Lionel Messi. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/xPX7EPhBM1
"Soon, I'm going to be asked about this and my answer is very clear. It's my decision and it's final. I don't understand the concept of the guard of honour and so we aren't going to do it. Barca broke with the tradition," Zidane had said ahead of the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Real captain Sergio Ramos too didn't approve of the guard of honour. "Guard of honour? I've always said we have to respect whatever the boss says. They didn't give us a guard of honour either," he was quoted as saying by Football Espana.
Zinédine Zidane: "Cristiano Ronaldo does things sometimes that only he can do. It is one of the most beautiful goals in the history of football." pic.twitter.com/DIqJgsXyPb— Players Sayings (@PlayersSayings) April 9, 2018
"There must be respect and the issue of a guard of honour shouldn't be magnified. I don't think Barcelona care.
"If the boss said it, that's that. If we don't do a guard of honour, it doesn't mean we don't respect them."
Real Madrid has endured a very difficult start to this campaign, losing crucial games and falling out of the title race early. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema too had a dry spell in front of goal while Gareth Bale was sidelined due to injuries. However, with the turn of this year, fortunes turned for Real Madrid as they turned in a number of excellent performances. Ronaldo has now hit 38 goals since the beginning of the season.
Barcelona had formed the Guard of Honour in May 2008 for newly confirmed champions Real at the Santiago Bernabeu but they refused to repeat the gesture before their last Liga meeting on Dec 23, days after Madrid had lifted the FIFA Club World Cup.
Real Madrid have only the Champions League to fight for this season and enjoy a healthy 3-0 lead over Juventus in their quarter-final.