Even though there is still over a month of footballing action left in La Liga this season, Barcelona have already sealed the title in their favour. Last week by beating Deportivo La Coruna 4-2, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick, Barcelona won their seventh league title in a decade. With 86 points in 34 games, Barca cemented their trophy win this season. Up next, the Catalans will face their arch-rivals Real Madrid at Nou Camp in the second Clasico of the season.
Now according to tradition, the Spanish champions are welcomed on to the pitch in their next la Liga game with a guard of honour, or pasillo, as it is called in Spanish. But with the massive rivalry between the two clubs, Real manager Zinedine Zidane has ruled out the guard of honour for Barca.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday’s clash, the former Real Madrid midfielder said, “We are not going to give them a pasillo.” The 46-year-old manager further added that in the end, it is his decision. “It’s my decision and that’s it. I don’t really understand this thing about the pasillo, so in the end it’s not going to happen,” he said.
The last time a similar situation occurred during a Clasico, the tables were on the other side. Back in the 2008 season, when Real won the league title comfortably with 18 points over Barcelona, the latter were gracious enough to give them a guard of honour in the Clasico.
Barca defender Jordi Alba expressed his dissatisfaction at Zidane’s decision saying that the club has done it before for Los Blancos. “Barcelona has done it for Madrid in the past, even at the Bernabeu,” he said. But the 29-year old further added that the decision of every team has to be respected. “But each team can make its own decision and it has to be respected,” he said.
Real Madrid are currently in the third position in the table with 71 points, 17 behind the Champions. The last time the two teams met, Barca slammed their rivals by a solid 3-0 victory.