Cristiano Ronaldo: I hope it's a happy Clásico for Real Madrid

The Portuguese striker will watch the match from Turin. "I have a lot of respect for Barcelona, but I carry Real Madrid in my heart," he told AS.

Cristiano Ronaldo to AS: I hope it's a happy Clásico for Real Madrid

Of the millions of fans watching the Clásico on television today, there'll be one very special spectator - a man who, for the first time in a decade, is not in Real Madrid's ranks as they prepare to take on arch rivals Barcelona: Cristiano Ronaldo. The striker, who left Los Blancos for Juventus in a 117m-euro summer deal, will be following this afternoon's clash at the Camp Nou from Turin.

"I carry Real Madrid in my heart", Cristiano tells AS

In the hours before kick-off in Catalonia, Ronaldo spoke to AS to send a message of support to Real Madrid. He may no longer be at the club, but that didn't stop him from wishing his former colleagues all the best in the Clásico, and talking of the affection that he still has for the 13-time European champions."I have a lot of respect for Barcelona," the 33-year-old said, "but I carry Real Madrid in my heart. Which is why I hope today's game is a happy one for Madrid."

Ronaldo scored 12 times at the Camp Nou during his time at Real Madrid.

Scorer of 12 goals against Barcelona at the Camp Nou

Alongside fellow Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stéfano, Cristiano is the second-highest scorer in the history of the Clásico, having hit 18 goals in matches against Barcelona. 12 of his strikes against the Blaugrana came at the Camp Nou, including one in the most recent Clásico at the ground, a 2-2 league draw in May.