Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says he has nothing but respect for new Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman was installed as the new Los Blancos boss on Monday following the sacking of Rafa Benitez. He will be the third Real boss Enrique will face within two years after Carlo Ancelotti also left the club in the summer.
Since news of Zidane’s appointment emerged, archive footage has been dug up showing Enrique and Zidane having a fracas in a Clasico match in 2003. The Barcelona boss is seen grabbing the 1998 World Cup winner around the throat, while Zidane is holding Enrique by the face.
Speaking to the media about the incident and whether it means fans could not expect fireworks on the touchlines when the two giants meet on April 3 in the league, Enrique said he couldn’t recall the incident and has a huge amount of respect for Zidane.
“I don’t have an opinion about him as a coach. I haven’t had the time to go over it. We don’t really know each other. I don’t really have a bad memory of anyone I’ve played against. Everyone defends their own team and I don’t have a good or bad memory of anything,” he said.
And he added: “I haven’t seen the images and I don’t remember any exchange with Zidane, but for sure we were defending our teams. I respect him as a colleague.”