Barcelona clinched La Liga title with victory at Deportivo last weekend, and it is customary for teams to create a guard of honour as a show of respect for newly-crowned champions.
When Zinedine Zidane’s side refused to honour their rivals, Barcelona improvised a guard of honour at full time, with staff members applauding the players as they left the pitch.
“As we are a family, and they didn’t want to give us a guard of honour, I’ve asked our staff to make one,” Gerard Pique explained to the crowd, as quoted by Marca.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu expressed his disappointment at Madrid’s disrespect and said that Barcelona would have honoured Madrid if the roles were reversed.
“The guard of honour is a matter of respect between players and professionals who play,” Bartlomeu told AS. “I think if Madrid had won La Liga we would have made the guard of honour.”
Madrid’s defence for not making a guard of honour was that Barcelona had refused to give them one at the Santiago Bernabeu after they won the Club World Cup in December, but Bartolomeu dismissed this reasoning.
“We make the guard of honour in the competitions we play,” he explained. “At the end of 2017 we talked to the players and we did not make the guard because it was another competition. If Madrid has decided not to do, it’s their decision.”
Gareth Bale’s goal denied 10-man Barca victory, but they are now just three games away from going the entire season unbeaten.