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Rarely do diplomats get down from the fence to voice their opinions but today Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, made his feelings firmly known about El Clásico, saying Barcelona will thrash Madrid...

El Clásico's claim to be one of the biggest matches in world football is rarely in doubt but if it needed approval straight from the top, then it got it today.

Spanish daily Marca spoke to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the prime minister of Spain, about the game and he was not shy about letting his feelings be known.

Zapatero, who is a passionate Barcelona fan, said that he believes the Blaugrana will win 5-1 when his side meet Real Madrid this Saturday evening in the Camp Nou.

Not only did he make that rather bold statement, but he then went on to further insult the quality of the defending La Liga champions.

The president declared that Cultural Leonesa, his hometown team, 'have a better defence than Real Madrid.'

Bearing in mind that Cultural are in Segunda División B - Group 1, that is quite some claim, albeit one that doesn't look too wide of the mark in recent times.

James Walker-Roberts,