Why Atletico Madrid will not give Real Madrid a guard of honour

Atletico Madrid have explained why they will not give Real Madrid a guard of honour on Sunday evening.

Atletico were, of course, dethroned as La Liga champions recently when Real Madrid smashed Espanyol 4-0 to secure a record-breaking 35th-league title.

The Spanish powerhouse have won nine more titles than any club, with FC Barcelona having secured 26 and Atletico 11.

And now, after clinching their latest crown, it was expected that Madrid would receive a guard of honour from Atletico as it is Los Blancos’ first league game since becoming La Liga champions.

However, Diego Simeone’s side have explained why that will not be happening in an official statement:

"Some people want to turn what began as a gesture of recognition for the champions into a public toll that their rivals must pay, imbued with the scent of humiliation," the club statement reads.

"Atletico Madrid will under no circumstances collaborate in this attempt at ridicule in which the true values of sport are completely forgotten and tension and confrontation between fans are incited."

Atletico also claimed that they have been unfairly criticised for their decision while citing Celta Vigo's reluctance to clap their players onto the pitch following their 2020-21 La Liga success. "Atleti are the last league champions. Does anyone remember any controversy about whether we should receive a guard of honour from our first opponents after winning the title? No, because there was no debate," the club added.

"In the first match of this season, Celta Vigo decided not to give a guard of honour and it was the right decision, because they are gestures that should be done to be applauded by the home crowd... We received the guard of honour in the first game we played at home, from Elche. Naturally, gratefully and, obviously, without any demands."

But whilst it is the guard of honour that is no doubt set to be the focus heading into the game, Atletico still have the small matter of securing a top-four spot to attend to.

Simeone and co. are currently 4th in La Liga, but Real Betis are only two points behind them with three games left to play.

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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