Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola believes Real Madrid have ‘lost a lot’ from selling the ‘irreplaceable’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
Many attribute Madrid’s poor form of late and general lack of goals to Ronaldo’s departure over the summer, and Guardiola agreed Barca’s Clasico opponents were weaker as a result.
“Madrid started the season well,” the Manchester City Coach told Univision Deportes.
“They’ve fallen off recently, but they’ll still be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“Spanish football has been lucky enough to enjoy two incredible players [Ronaldo and Messi] for the past decade, and it’s helped Spanish football grow.
“A derby like this is special, there are no favourites. In any case, Barcelona are playing at home and that always carries a weight.
“With or without Ronaldo, Real Madrid are a top team, but they’ve lost a lot, 50 or 60 goals.
“He’s an incredible player, not only for his goals but also his assists at important moments. He’s irreplaceable.”