BARCELONA – FC Barcelona will have revenge on their minds when they battle Real Madrid this weekend in the Clasico, coach Ernesto Valverde said Friday.
The last meeting between the archrivals, the 2017 Spanish Super Cup, ended in a 5-1 victory for the Blancos.
Barcelona are looking forward to Saturday’s clash with the defending La Liga champions, Valverde said at his pre-match press conference.
“We are excited about this game because it is a big chance to make up for what happened. We are ready to face Real Madrid,” he said, while rejecting the idea that Barça – the undefeated league leader – should be seen as the favorites.
“I do not think we are the favorites. These are special matches and the standings do not matter. They will play at home, where they are powerful,” the coach said.
On another topic, Valverde defended Barça against allegations of tampering with Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico filed a complaint with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, about Barcelona’s “repeated contacts” with Griezmann despite the French international’s having extended his contract with the Colchoneros until June 2022.
“Our club always operates within the law and each club is free to do what it thinks is appropriate,” Valverde said.