The first El-Classico of the Spanish La Liga season is scheduled for Saturday, December 23, 2017 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, and from all indications, it’s going to be another fiesty encounter if Guillermo Amor’s recent assertions are anything to go by.
According to ESPN reports, the Barcelona director of institutional relations said the club will not be giving a guard of honour to Club World Cup winners Real Madrid before Saturday’s La Liga Clasico because it would be ‘inappropriate’. “We usually do the guard of honour in the same competition that has been won, which is not the case this time,” the former Barca midfielder said,” Amor stated in an interview with Movistar Plus.
“Two lines of opposition players welcoming newly crowned champions onto the pitch is a custom in Spanish football, with rival teams including Villarreal, Real Betis, Valencia and Real Mallorca having honored either Madrid or Barca in this way in recent years in the first game following a Club World Cup success.
However, the guard of honor is not mandatory, and Sevilla last year chose not to line up when playing in the Copa del Rey against Madrid, while former Barca coach Pep Guardiola specifically asked Hospitalet players to refrain in 2011 as he felt the Club World Cup celebrations were already over.
This came after Madrid fans and pundits had been welcoming a chance for a possible psychological boost ahead of what is a crunch fixture for their side.
Speaking in the mixed zone in Abu Dhabi after his goal had secured a fifth trophy of 2017 for Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo said he hoped to see Barca lining up in respect before the game.
‘It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us a pasillo,” Ronaldo said. “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.”