The former Real Madrid legend feels it was wrong on the part of his former side to deny the newly crowned Spanish champions a guard of honor ahead of the El Clasico
Real Madrid’s personal rivalry with Barcelona couldn’t transcend the bounds of sportsmanship as the former refused to give the newly crowned La Liga champions, a guard of honor before the kicking off the El Clasico. The Blaugrana clinched the league a game before the clash with arch-nemesis Real Madrid. That triggered talks of a possible ‘pasillo’ before the game, something that the Catalans offered them in reverse circumstances in 2008.
However, Los Blancos were adamant on their decision and refused any such gesture. That certainly didn’t go down well with the Barcelona fans. But now, the team finds another critique in their own former player Iker Casillas, who has come on record to lambaste his former side.
The Porto shot-stopper feels Barcelona deserved to be reciprocated the respect they showed a decade ago. He said, “Barcelona did the pasillo at the Bernabeu, 10 years ago when we won the league and I experienced that.”
Since Real Madrid refused, the club management staff turned in to applaud the swashbuckling team after the Clasico. But Casillas reveals he would’ve offered respect to any league champion, including former rivals Barcelona. “Times have changed a lot since, but if it was up to me, I would have given the guard of honour to the team that has won the league.”
In the following game, Barcelona played hosts to Villarreal, and the Yellow Submarine acknowledged the champions with a pasillo before the kick-off.
In some way, Casillas is right to slam Real Madrid’s dismissal of a gesture of respect. But in actuality, Barcelona are the real culprits for breaking the tradition. The club lined-up to give Sevilla the guard of honor for winning the Europa League in 2006. But when it came to gesturing with the same for Madrid’s Club World Cup triumph, they declined, siting their non-participation in the competition; an argument that holds no water when the earlier scenario is considered.