Barcelona pictured giving Madrid a guard of honour back in May 2008. AFP/Getty Images
heated rivalry

'It's my decision' - Zidane says Real Madrid won't give Barcelona a guard of honour

Barcelona may be La Liga champions by the next Clasico, but the Blancos consider the tradition to have been broken.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE HAS reiterated that Real Madrid will not form a guard of honour for Barcelona in the next Clasico clash between the two old adversaries.

Tradition has dictated that La Liga’s fiercest rivals will acknowledge the achievements of one another once top honours are secured.

It could prove that Barcelona will have secured another Spanish top-flight title by the time they welcome the Blancos to Camp Nou on 6 May.

They will, however, be offered no ‘pasillo’ by Real, with Zidane considering that custom to have been broken.

His side received no recognition at the Santiago Bernabeu on 23 December following their Club World Cup win and none will be offered in return to the champions-elect.

“I don’t know how much you are going to ask me but my response is very clear,” Zidane told reporters at a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Madrid derby date with Atletico.

“It is my decision and that is it.

Zinedine Zidane, head coach of Real Madrid CF, looks on "Barcelona broke the tradition", said Zidane this week. Nicolò Campo Nicolò Campo

“I don’t understand the guard of honour and it won’t take place, although we are far from the end of the season. Barcelona broke the tradition.”

Zidane stated back in December that he was “not interested at all” in considering guards of honour, with it clear even at that stage that Barca were clear favourites for title glory.

His comments came on the back of Ernesto Valverde’s side opting against such niceties during a trip to the Spanish capital.

The Barca boss defended those actions by saying that he would not have expected a ‘pasillo’ if the roles had been reversed.

He said: “A [guard of honour] was something done years ago as a symbolic tribute, as recognition between players, when football had not acquired this nuance that is contaminating everything.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg Zinedine Zidane and Ernesto Valverde. Joan Valls / Urbanandsport Joan Valls / Urbanandsport / Urbanandsport

“We do have recognition towards Madrid, for what they have achieved this year.

“On the notion of a guard of honour, I wouldn’t do it for anyone, nor would I want it to be done for us. It has now lost the essence that it had a few years ago.”

There have only been three previous occasions in which a guard of honour has been presented in meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The first came in 1988 at Camp Nou, in recognition of Real’s title triumph, before the roles were reversed at the Bernabeu in 1991.

The last ‘pasillo’ was presented by Frank Rijkaard’s Barca in 2008.

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