Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, El Clasico: Don't expect honor of guard for Messi and Co., Zidane says

It's a common occurrence in club soccer for a team to give a guard of honor to newly-crowned champions. That's when the opposing team lines up to congratulate its opponents for reaching the pinnacle of the sport as the players enter the field. It's basically the equivalent of a tip of the cap -- a sign of respect. 

When Barcelona and Real Madrid clash in another installment of El Clasico at the Camp Nou on Sunday, don't expect the players from Los Merengues to give Barcelona players the guard of honor. 

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane confirmed that his players aren't planning on doing and added that he isn't the one to involved in the decision-making process, according to Marca

"I'm not the one to decide," Zidane said. "After the Club World Cup, I understand that for them it wasn't important to do the guard of honor. And some say they weren't in the competition, that's a lie. You have to win the Champions League to play in the Club World Cup, and we are all in the Champions League. I'm not the one to decide if we do it. They didn't do it. We, with respect, aren't going to do it because they didn't do it. The most important [thing] is [that] we respect what Barcelona has done. Winning the league is the most glamorous and most complicated achievement."

Maybe it's just a matter of the rivalry intensifying over the years and things reaching a boiling point after Barcelona refused to give Real Madrid the guard of honor after winning the FIFA Club World Cup. However, two wrongs don't make a right, even though snubbing them isn't really a sign of disrespect. On the other hand, Barca manager Ernesto Valverde told reporters it doesn't really matter. 

"We have spoken about this a lot already, but we are not giving it too much importance," he said, via ESPN. "I don't consider it disrespectful. There's a lot of noise about this -- so much furor has been made about an issue that really doesn't matter at the end of the day."  

Despite being embroiled in a contentious rivalry, Real Madrid should probably own up to and do it. The funny thing is, in 2008, Barca gave Real the guard of honor when they entered the Camp Nou.   

Zidane's respect for Barcelona through his words probably suffice here, but we'll have to wait till the match starts to see if it results in any tense moments from the players. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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