‘Clasico about players, not Coaches’

Former Real Madrid man Jorge Valdano has insisted that Saturday’s Clasico against Barcelona “is about the players, not the Coaches”.

Plenty of the pre-game talk concerning the Santiago Bernabeu showdown has centred around which tactical decisions both trainers will make, but the Argentine – who played, coached and directed Los Blancos – does not believe either dugout will influence the performances of those on the pitch.

“[Claudio] Bravo is a very good goalkeeper, but [Keylor] Navas is also a beast between the sticks,” he told Cadena SER.

“[The Clasico] is a game about the players, not the Coaches.

“I expect [Rafa] Benitez to play Casemiro in midfield, but I’d go with [Toni] Kroos, [Luka] Modric, James [Rodriguez] and Isco.

“[Lionel] Messi isn’t a player who comes on in the 70th minute at the Bernabeu, he’s a player who makes the difference earlier.

“Real Madrid’s players must show a jolt in character and responsibility on Saturday.”

Tags Clasico Jorge Valdano