Javier Mascherano has called on Barcelona and Real Madrid to forgo the ‘theatrics’ when they meet in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The lead-up to Wednesday’s ‘El Clasico’ semi-final first leg at the San Bernabeu has been marred by a war of words between Barca boss Pep Guardiola and Real counterpart Jose Mourinho.
Mind-game master Mourinho has been trying to get under Guardiola’s skin all season and was at it again following Real’s win over Barca in the Copa del Rey final, chiding the Barca boss for being a constant critic of referees.
The normally reserved Guardiola unleashed an astonishing outburst in response, sarcastically describing Mourinho as the ‘f—— chief’ and saying the Portuguese manager had won ‘his own personal Champions League’ off the pitch.
The ongoing row will no doubt have the Bernabeu at fever pitch by kick-off on Wednesday evening, but one man is hoping football takes precedence over the mind games – Barca midfielder Mascherano.
“I want a clean game without theatrics. What we like most is to play good football. That is what Barcelona do,” the former Liverpool man said.
“I think that the most important thing for us happens on the pitch, and we will see how it ends. Obviously we want a good game that everyone can enjoy.”
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