Barcelona have announced that they will not acknowledge Real Madrid’s Club World Cup success with a guard of honour before kickoff in El Clasico. Former Barca midfielder and now the club’s director of institutional relations Guillermo Amor, has gone on record to say that the club have deemed such a mark of respect as inappropriate on this occasion.
“We usually do the guard of honour in the same competition that has been won, which is not the case this time.”
The guard of honour is a Spanish tradition whereby two lines of players line up and applaud the opposing team onto the pitch following a notable success. This does not necessarily have to be a La Liga title, as previously Villarreal, Real Betis, Real Mallorca and Valencia have each shown their respect to Real or Barca following respective Club World Cup wins.
It is thought that Barcelona’s stance derives from a desire to keep their perceived psychological edge ahead of the crunch fixture. After all, they hold all the cards with an eleven point lead over Real Madrid. If they did form a guard of honour at the Bernabeu, the home side could be given a lift before kickoff, something that Cristiano Ronaldo was hoping for.
Speaking following the 1-0 win over Gremio to win the Club World Cup, Ronaldo had said;
“It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us a pasillo”
CR7 is still hoping to overhaul Barcelona’s lead and remains confident that Real can get a result on Saturday.
“I hope we can beat Barcelona and keep La Liga alive. We are gaining confidence and going to improve and end the season very well.”
His confidence and belief is shared by Luka Modric who was named player of the tournament in Abu Dhabi.
“We’ve got a great chance to cut the deficit on Saturday. We’re on a good run, we believe in what we’re doing, playing better and I hope we can show that against Barcelona as well.”