Ramos shrugs off Real Madrid's guard of honour row with title-chasing Barcelona

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Zinedine Zidane says a La Liga triumph by Clasico rivals will not be saluted, but those in the capital insist that is not through a lack of respect

Sergio Ramos has rejected the notion that Real Madrid's decision to deny Barcelona a guard of honour shows a lack of respect to La Liga's champions in waiting.

With seven matches remaining, Barca enjoy an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid and are surely set to reclaim the title won by Zinedine Zidane's side last season.

Last week, Zidane confirmed Madrid would not give the Catalan giants a guard of honour when the Clasico rivals meet at Camp Nou in early May, even if Ernesto Valverde's men have been confirmed as champions by that stage.

In response, Barca centre-back Gerard Pique sarcastically remarked that he would lose sleep over the matter, and his international team-mate Ramos believes the issue has been blown out of proportion.

"Not performing a guard of honour doesn't mean we don't respect Barcelona," he said after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I've always said that we'll do what the coach tells us to.

"People put too much value on the guard of honour, if the boss has said no then we have to respect him."

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Zidane will feel he has more pressing matters at hand, such as guarding against complacency as Madrid protect a 3-0 lead heading into Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Juventus.

"Everybody thinks we've won and that's what we don't want to think about," he said. "Everybody is saying we are going to win, but we're going to suffer a lot.

"We have to do everything to qualify and be focused on what we have to do."

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