While most of Real Madrid’s squad have had the experience of playing El Clasico against Barcelona, the same can’t be said for Ronald Koeman’s new look Blaugrana. From the Catalonian side of things, there are plenty of new faces that can possibly make their first appearance in the greatest rivalry in Spanish football.
One of those players is Barcelona’s new number 8, Miralem Pjanic, who made the move from Juventus with Arthur going the other way in one of the most surprising and equally confusing transfers.
Here is what the 30-year-old had to say about his first Clasico experience.
“Having the opportunity to play El Clasico is what every player dreams of, it is the biggest game in football. I am happy to be here, to be able to play, and I hope we can win.”
“The Clasico is special, but I have already played in Roma-Lazio, who are great rivals. Also the Juventus-Inter Milan derby in Italy.” Pjanic said, before adding, “I have played great derbies in great matches, I want to know what it is to play a Clasico, I am curious.”
While the comparisons of the teams mentioned by Pjanic are no doubt respectable, nothing comes close to El Clasico. With the fans not around, the atmosphere will be quite haunting for the players, but fans will be watching from all corners of the world without a doubt.
The Bosnian continued, “We have a good team, and we know how to play. We have been able to rest after the Champions League game, and have prepared ourselves. We are looking forward to playing the game, which is special and we have to win.”
“Until now, I saw them on television. I remember a great victory at home, 5-0 in 2011 with Guardiola and Mourinho. It was very nice to watch that Barça play, but the 2-6 at the Bernabeu was also special, because playing away is never easy.”
“I was very young, 19 years old. We played against a great Madrid, great players, and we beat them, eliminated them, and scored.” He also added, “It was special for me, a great sensation, to score at the Bernabeu.
Barcelona host fierce rivals Real Madrid today in the first El Clasico of the season. The hosts are placed 10th, but have a game in hand on the their opposition today. Madrid, on the other hand, will be determined to turn their lack of fortune around following consecutive defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar.
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