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Iniesta: Clasico win perfect Cruyff tribute

Andres Iniesta is determined to lead Barcelona to victory over Real Madrid in this weekend’s Clasico to honour club icon Johan Cruyff following the Dutchman’s death last week.

Cruyff passed away last Thursday after losing his battle against lung cancer and Iniesta has vowed to give his utmost to help the Catalan club to victory at Camp Nou on Saturday.

“Winning the Clasico would be a great tribute to Cruyff,” Iniesta said at a news conference.

“Hopefully we can win for him. It is definitely an extra motivation for us.”

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in November and hold a comfortable 10-point lead over their arch rivals, who are third behind the defending champions and Atletico Madrid, in the Liga table

However, Iniesta has warned against complacency.

“We do not treat the Clasico any different than our other remaining fixtures. They are all finals,” Iniesta added. 

“I always see Madrid as a very dangerous and strong rival. Things will go wrong if we don’t do what we have to do. I hope it will be a great game of football.

“We are no longer thinking about the game at the Bernabeu or about our lead in the table. We will get one step closer to our objective if we win, but we will respect Real Madrid. The Clasico is always a special game.

“We are in a great shape, but still being top of the table at the end of the season is what counts. The most beautiful time of the season is ahead, but it’s also the toughest part. Details can be decisive.”

Encounters between Barcelona and Real Madrid got out of hand on more than one occasion during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge at the Bernabeu and Iniesta is happy those days are long gone.

“I prefer the Clasico to be a normal game, not like it was during the three years Mourinho coached Madrid,” he said.

“We all prefer to talk about football. All the controversy off the pitch did not benefit anyone. Those were important moments, but the important thing is that it is something from the past now.”

Wed 30 Mar, 2016
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