BARCELONA-REAL MADRID

Clásico: Confusion surrounds late Barcelona line-up change

Sergio Busquets was replaced in Barcelona's Clásico line-up at the last-minute, with conflicting explanations given for the late change.

Busquets: Confusion over late Barcelona line-up change
Alberto Estevez EFE

There was confusion over Barcelona's starting XI in Wednesday's Clásico against Real Madrid, after Sergio Busquets was initially named in the team before being replaced by Ivan Rakitic.

Busquets suffering from fever, AS told...

Following the last-minute change, AS was told that Busquets had come down with a fever overnight and, although he received treatment from club doctors in the hours leading up to the game, it was finally decided that he had not recovered sufficiently to start.

...before different explanation then given

However, Barça assistant coach Jon Aspiazu gave a different version of events in a pre-match interview on Spanish television channel Movistar+. Asked if anything was wrong with Busquets, he said: "No, what has happened is that there was a misunderstanding when the line-up was conveyed. He's fit; after all, he's on the bench."

"So it's 100% a selection decision made by the coach?" he was then asked, replying: "Yes, that's right."

Shortly afterwards Barcelona's director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, said: "It seems to have been a transcription error and Rakitic is playing in the end."