Espanyol will honour champions

Espanyol coach Javier Aguirre insists his side will form a guard of honour for Barcelona before their game with the Primera Division champions, despite protests from fans.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 22:09 Post Comment

Javier Aguirre: "It is protocol, we will do it, and that's that"

Javier Aguirre: "It is protocol, we will do it, and that's that"

Home supporters have announced plans to turn their backs on the players before the game in Cornella but the Mexican coach promised his team would be respectful.

He said: "I am in no position to pass judgement on the fans, but the president has not even spoken to us about the guard of honour, it is protocol, we will do it, and that's that."

Although Espanyol have limited chances of qualifying for Europe after their defeat at Deportivo La Coruna last week, Aguirre insisted his team would not require any motivation for the Catalan derby.

"When we play Madrid and Barcelona I don't need to focus on motivation, they all know how important these games are.

"Since the first day I arrived here, people have been telling me that Barca are the team to beat, our sporting enemy."

The derby is Espanyol's final home game of a season in which the club flirted with relegation until Aguirre's arrival and the coach is hoping to end the year on a high note.

"We have to win to give ourselves the right send-off, to finish a long season. Beating Barcelona would be a great way to round the year off."

Cristian Alvarez will start in goal while Hector Moreno has been ruled out due to injury and Sergio Tejera is suspended.

Aguirre also sent a message of support to Victor Alvarez, who underwent a heart operation during the week to correct a cardiac anomaly. The players have announced they will pay tribute to their team-mate by wearing T-shirts bearing his name before the match.

Barcelona will be without Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol for the game, while a decision on whether or not Dani Alves is fit to play will be made on the day of the game.

It could be Victor Valdes' last Catalan derby, with reports suggesting the goalkeeper, who has decided against signing a new contract when his current deal expires in 2014, will leave Barcelona in the summer.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura declared that no-one at the club would be trying to convince Valdes to stay.

"It's a strictly personal decision, none of the coaches are in a position to tell him to change his mind, he has thought about it for a long time," said Roura.

The assistant coach also distanced the club from the move by Nike to drape the statue of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona city centre in the club's shirt, which provoked a furious reaction from Espanyol president Joan Collet.

"Nike did a deal with the city hall for this marketing campaign and it has gone very well for them, because everyone is talking about it," remarked Roura.

However, the coach did not think the controversy with the statue or the guard of honour would mean the atmosphere in Cornella would be more hostile than usual.

"We are expecting a difficult and intense match, as it always is in Cornella," he said. "A derby is always special".

Roura took over media duties from first-team coach Tito Vilanova, who has just returned from a trip to New York for medical purposes, but the assistant assured reporters that Vilanova was "in very good spirits".

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

League Two round-up: Tranmere and Cheltenham relegated to Conference

Shrewsbury secured promotion to League One by beating Cheltenham, whose relegation fate was sealed along with Tranmere.

Man City 3-2 Aston Villa: Brad Guzan drops howler before Fernandinho strikes late as City go second

Fernandinho struck in the 89th minute to hand Manchester City a dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

League One round-up: Preston forced to wait for promotion party

Preston took a huge step towards promotion with a 3-0 win over Swindon, but MK Dons kept up the pressure with a victory.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company