- Real Madrid travel to Camp Nou early next month for the second leg of their El Clasico this season
- The Catalan club claim maximum points in the reverse fixture back at the Santiago Bernabeu last December
- However, Sergio Ramos says his team will not perform the 'guard of honour' for the runaway La Liga champions Barcelona, adding that their decision is not out of disrespect for the team
Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos says Los Blancos will not be performing the guard of honour for champions-elect Barcelona when they clash in the second leg of their Spanish League clash early next month.
The Catalan club maintained their invincibility in the Spanish top flight with a 3-1 victory over Leganes on Saturday, April 7, to remain at the summit of the table with 79 points – 15 points clear of the Galacticos with seven matches to the end of this term.
Real on the other hand relinquished their 3rd position on the table following their 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s derby at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Ramos insists their decision not to give Barca the honour they deserve as the eventual champions of the league doesn’t mean they don’t respect them.
Coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed at the weekend they will not offer the runaway La Liga leaders a guard of honour before the El Clasico next month if the Catalans are crowned champions before then.
Gerard Pique hit back at Zidane's claim with a sarcastic remark that he would not lose any sleep over the matter, but his international team-mate Ramos believes the issue has been blown out of proportion.
“Not performing a guard of honour doesn't mean we don't respect Barcelona,” he said after Sunday's 1-1 draw with rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu.
“I've always said that we'll do what the coach tells us to. People put too much value on the guard of honour, if the boss has said no then we have to respect him.”
Barcelona famously formed a guard of honour for newly confirmed champions Real at the Bernabeu in May 2008 and Zidane feels they 'broke the tradition' by doing it.
Having addressed the issue, Zidane shifted his attention to his side’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg clash on Wednesday, April 11.
“Everybody thinks we've won and that's what we don't want to think about.
“Everybody is saying we are going to win, but we're going to suffer a lot. We have to do everything to qualify and be focused on what we have to do" the Madrid boss said.
Barcelona have a 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid are 4th on the log with 15 points behind the soon to be crowned leaders with seven games to the end of the season.
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