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Morientes asks Barca for good manners in Guard of Honour row

Former Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes has asked Barcelona to form a guard of honour ahead of Saturday’s El Clasico.

Tradition is Spanish football is to honour your next opponents if they have been successful in winning a title.

And, with Real Madrid’s win in the Club World Cup last weekend against Gremio – Saturday’s fixture against Barca sees that tradition come into play.

The Catalan side sit 11 points clear of Madrid in the league table and are said to be gunning for three points on Saturday morning at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Claims that Ernesto Valverde’s side will not give their rivals a guard of honour have surfaced but former striker Morientes believes they should.

“The guard of honour is an unwritten law,” Morientes told an interview with Marca.

“There is no way you can enforce this rule for teams or players but it is a question of manner and respect.

“If Madrid were playing a team in this position, we would have done it and I would have had no issue, there is rivalry but this is about maturity and an example to children.

“You don’t see the handshakes pre-match, many players are friends but when the game starts this all changes.

“Madrid must win this game and will enter it with this mentality, as anything else would make a title push very difficult.”

 

Barca come into the game having beaten Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, where Luis Suarez and Paulinho scored braces.

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Valverde has just one injury doubt with Jordi Alba struggling in training this week.

For Zinedine Zidane’s side, they are waiting on a final fitness test for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been training alone and without a ball this week.

A win for Barca would almost see Madrid out of the title race and sit a massive 14 points off the league leaders.

Madrid who have stuttered this season, are a contrast to Barca, who remain unbeaten in all competitions.

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