Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is confident Wednesday’s much-awaited El Clasico against heated rivals Barcelona will go ahead and said that they have to believe the match will go on as planned.
The La Liga match was originally scheduled for October 26, but was postponed due to the rising civil unrest in Catalonia. Both sides are level on 35 points but Barca top the table on goal difference.
“In games like this you’ve got to produce your best throughout the 90 minutes,” Zidane was quoted as saying in a report by BBC on Wednesday.
The game which has been delayed by two months was due to the protest took place in Barcelona as nine Catalan separatist leaders were convicted of sedition over their role in the referendum and handed jail sentences of between nine and 13 years. La Liga had no option than to postpone the match due to “exceptional circumstances beyond our control” as more protests were expected in Barcelona on the day of the match.
The clubs had disagreed to shift the venue to Madrid, but now will have to share the same hotel in the lead-up to Wednesday game. Both teams will travel at the same time two hours before kick-off amid security concerns.
“That’s something different for us. We’ve been told that we have to leave together and that’s what we’ll do. There’s nothing else to explain. The important thing is that the game goes ahead,” Zidane said.
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde was of the opinion that the match could have been played on its scheduled date. “I think we could have played the game on the original day and there is no reason why we can’t play the game tomorrow,” he said.
“It is unlikely in a situation like this that the players will meet before the game, so I probably won’t see Zidane, but I have a lot of respect for him.”