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Real Madrid to close La Liga race this weekend: Christian Karembeu

Christian Karembeu played for Real Madrid from 1997 to 2000 and won two Champions League titles with the Spanish club.

football Updated: Apr 23, 2017 12:51 IST
Real Madrid,El Clasico,Barcelona
Real Madrid practice ahead of their much anticipated La Liga clash against Barcelona at the Valdebebas training ground in Madrid on the eve of El Clasico.(AFP)

Real Madrid will go all out to secure the La Liga title with a victory in Sunday’s El Clasico, says their former player Christian Karembeu.

The 234th El Clasico will be played at Real’s home ground Santiago Bernabeu and Karembeu feels that advantage, along with the momentum gained by advancing into Champions League semifinals, will spur manager Zinedine Zidane to go all out to win the match.

“I say 2-1 to Real Madrid,” Karembeu responded when asked about the likely victor.

“We are at home and obviously the victory will then help us focus on the Champions League because if we win, we close the championship, we close the title race,” he continued.

READ | Barcelona ready for ‘must-win’ El Clasico vs Real Madrid, with or without Neymar

Karembeu, who played for Real from 1997 to 2000 and won two Champions League titles with the Spanish club, is in Mumbai as a La Liga brand ambassador who will host a special El Clasico show for the live television broadcast of the match.

Real Madrid are three points clear at the top of the table and victory on Sunday will give them a comfortable six-point advantage with a game in hand.

They are also set to play the Champions League semifinal against city rivals Atletico Madrid on May 2 and 9, while Barcelona only have the Copa del Rey final at the end of the season to worry about.

READ | Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid in Champions League semis, Juventus draw Monaco

Karembeu stressed on the point that Real’s crowded fixtures could later derail their La Liga ambitions so they would want to gain maximum points this weekend.

“Knowing that Barcelona could give us some difficulties in the title race. We need to focus on this match because the title is there to be won and we need to make the difference now.

“And then we need to shift focus to the Champions League because it is not going to be easy against Atletico Madrid.

“I think Zinedine will be thinking about that and will try to win the championship very quickly by closing the title race this weekend.”

First Published: Apr 23, 2017 12:51 IST