Real Madrid should give La Liga winners Barcelona a guard of honour – Alba
Jordi Alba suggested bitter rivals Real Madrid should perform a guard of honour for Spanish champions Barcelona, though the full-back acknowledged the decision would not be made by the players.
Barcelona clinched their 25th La Liga title and seventh in 10 seasons courtesy of a 4-2 win at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as unbeaten Barca – who walked out to a guard of honour at the Riazor – sealed a La Liga and Copa del Rey double.
Attention post-match quickly turned to Sunday's El Clasico showdown with Madrid at Camp Nou, after head coach Zinedine Zidane previously said Los Blancos would not give Barca a guard of honour as the Catalan giants opted not to do the same following December's Club World Cup triumph.
"It's not a decision we take, everyone has respect for those who want to," Spain international Alba told reporters.
"The Club World Cup was a competition we didn't play in. At the [Santiago] Bernabeu, in the league, we have previously performed a guard of honour.
"If they don't want to give us a guard of honour it will be because it comes from upstairs."
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 29, 2018
Alba also leapt to the defence of Barca boss Ernesto Valverde, who has come in for criticism following the club's shock Champions League quarter-final loss to Roma.
Leading 4-1 after the first leg, Barcelona were upstaged 3-0 in the return fixture as they bowed out on away goals.
"It's an embarrassment, the players have to show our faces, we all make mistakes," Alba said. "Valverde deserves it more than anyone, he's the sixth coach to have won a double. He's managed the dressing room perfectly."
Alba added: "[The double] has only been done eight times in Barcelona's history and we have to be very happy.
"Everyone would have taken it, although we know that in the Champions League we were knocked out badly.
"The double has been won eight times and the club was founded ages ago."