Atlético de Madrid president Enrique Cerezo and his Barcelona counterpart Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke to the media in Madrid before both sat down for the traditional, directors' pre-match lunch. Both Cerezo and Bartomeu stressed the importance of making a distinction between football and politics as both teams prepare to play their Week 8 fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano later this evening.
No place for politics in football, says Cerezo
"This is football, it's not politics or something strange. Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona are sports clubs and the only thing we are concerned with right now is taking three points from tonight's game. This is football - only football and all the fans want is to see their team win", Cerezo told reporters.
Bartomeu added: "We are two football clubs who enjoy a fantastic relationship. Both of us want to win this game and playing at the Wanda Metropolitano for the first time is going to make it even more special. It's been a special week for the national teams - let's see if we can come away with a good result and remain top of the league table. It's going to be a very difficult game".
Atlético's president insists that tonight's game will not have any political connotations on the part of the home fans: "We are all relaxed about the game. This isn't a political rally - the fans know that. People have other places where they can protest", Cerezo said, before adding with wry humour. "Now we are going inside to sort out selling the Calderón to Barça".