Jun 8, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta (6) during the second half of a friendly against Haiti at Sun Life Stadium. Spain won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Xavi and Andres Iniesta could be on the bench for Clasico


On Saturday, Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in El Clasico. This is one of the biggest soccer games of the year between two powerhouse clubs. Forbes ranked both these teams in the top three of their most valuable sports franchises in the world. Usually this is an all hands on deck type of game, but Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino hinted that he could leave Xavi or Andres Iniesta on the bench.

“There is a possibility that the three could play the game, or one could be left out, as always,” Martino said, via ESPN FC. “I had the team for the game decided before Milan. Players who have that level, it is not usual, they would not be left out of any other team. But this is Barca, so if Iniesta plays, Cesc is out, or if Xavi plays, Iniesta is out, or the three play and you leave out a wide attacker.

“They are all good. So you have to leave a good player out. I would like them to change the rules so we could put in one more. But without that you need to leave one out. It can be closer to unfair than to being fair.”

This is Martino’s first Clasico, and he says that it is different than other derbies he has been a part of.

“There are Clasicos all over the world, but it is difficult for them to generate the same expectations as a Barcelona against Madrid,” he said. “This is the first time for this type of Clasico, for what it represents, and the media around it. There is great excitement for us, as for all Barcelonismo, ahead of the game.”

Tags: Andres Iniesta Barcelona FC Barcelona Real Madrid