The greatest rivalry in world soccer; El Clasico. Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. No other rivalry, in any other sport, has more viewers tuned in on a consistent basis than this one. There is just something about two Spanish giants battling head to head to see who comes out on top year after year that just captivates such a broad audience. No one can argue about the intensity each of these games carry and how much pressure there is to make sure your side comes out on top. Never mind the fact that the two best soccer players in the world right now and arguably ever are playing in this event… and they both play on different teams. Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. Each team has their arsenal of attacking players and their impenetrable defensive players as well which is what’s so hard to split the two each time they face.
In overall matches played between the two clubs (269), Barcelona have won 111, Real Madrid have won 99, and there have been a total of 59 draws between the two. Now in league play where there has been a total of 174 matches between the two giants, Real Madrid found themselves coming out on top besting their rivals 72 times. Barcelona find themselves with three less putting them at 69 wins. And finally there has been a total of 33 draws amongst the two sides in La Liga action. Not to forget that with every transfer window in between each historic match the two sides just get more and more opportunities to bolster their attacks and perfect their defenses. So is there anything else that could possibly add more fuel to the fire backing this historic clash?
Turns out Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane has revealed the answer to that question to the media. Zidane stated that he and his team will not give their rivals, Barcelona, a traditional guard of honor if the two teams were to meet right after Barcelona become La Liga Champions. Why? Well Zidane revealed to the media the reasoning behind his decision.
“We will not give a guard of honor, this is my decision,” said Zidane when asked about the statement. “Barcelona didn’t follow the tradition when we won the Club World Cup. This is my decision,” he then added.
Zidane is making it very clear in stating that this is not something that was decided or discussed by the club in order to help Real Madrid avoid the criticism that would come from this choice. Barcelona had given Real Madrid a guard of honor back in 2008 but they then said that they would not do the same thing this past winter when Madrid dominated the Club World Cup in 2017. Which is what made Zidane choose to not give one to Barcelona.
Nobody knows whether or not if Los Blancos will have to face Barcelona in the circumstances where Madrid would be forced to give said guard of honor to their rivals, but it is clear that Zidane has chosen to not give one and that he and his team do not want to hear any more about the situation.