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Zidane explains Cristiano Ronaldo's derby withdrawal

09 April 2018

Gerard Pique offered a sarcastic response after Zinedine Zidane confirmed Real Madrid will refuse to give Barcelona a customary guard of honour when the two sides meet. In Spain it has become traditional for opponents to form a guard of honour for the champions. Then in the second, we got the goal, but they made it hard for us for 10 minutes after the goal and they levelled things up.

"It was just to rest", Zidane said, explaining Ronaldo's withdrawal ahead of next week's Champions League quarter-final meeting with Juventus.

Evidently unhappy at their Clasico rivals" refusal to do so following Real's Club World Cup success in December, the Frenchman blames Barcelona for "breaking the tradition'. But Zidane has declared that his team will break tradition and won't be showing their respect in that way - if any at all - when they meet again next month. We want to keep our good run going against Atletico.

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"We will not give a guard of honour, this is my decision", Zidane said as quoted by the Metro.

"I'm happy with the match and how we performed because we clearly deserved more".

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"It was just [to rest]. I still think he's an important player".

"He's been training and he's not going to let his motivation levels drop off". But derbies are passionate because the fans experience them all the same way.

Defender Nacho will miss out for Real as he has not recovered from a muscle problem suffered against Los Palmas.

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