Barcelona vs Real Madrid preview - Guardiola dismisses Real concerns

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Posted Tuesday, May 03, 2011 by PA

Barcelona vs Real Madrid preview - Guardiola dismisses Real concerns

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says Real Madrid have no grounds to complain about his side ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg at the Nou Camp.

Madrid reported Barca for unsporting conduct during last week's first leg at the Bernabeu, in which defender Pepe and coach Jose Mourinho were dismissed for the hosts, and have also accused Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets of racially abusing their full-back, Marcelo.

Barca had earlier reported Madrid for controversial comments made by Mourinho alluding to favours from UEFA in big Champions League games and questioning the Catalan club's relationship with UEFA.

Both complaints have been thrown out by European football's governing body and Guardiola believes Madrid can learn from the unsavoury episode.

"They can present all the complaints they like, but UEFA are the ones who decide," he said.

"They think we are unsporting, but I think completely the opposite.

"Here we teach our players manners from a young age."

Guardiola also took the opportunity to remind Mourinho, who is suspended and will watch the match from the stands, of those values.

"Mourinho was here [at Barcelona] for five years and he knows our values: to win, fight and earn respect by respecting your rival," he said.

Eric Abidal has been included in the squad after receiving the all-clear to return to action.

Full-back Abidal has not played since mid-March after it was discovered he had tumour on his liver. Abidal underwent a three-hour operation to remove the tumour on March 17 and it was not known how long the France international would be out for.

He was given the green light by Barca's medical team to return, as was Spain international Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta was forced out of the semi-final first leg against Madrid at the Bernabeu - which Barca won 2-0 - on the eve of the game due to a calf problem.

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka believes the clash has been tarnished by UEFA's decision not to charge the Catalans.

"The match has been overshadowed by UEFA's resolution - it's on another plane now," said Karanka.

"We have been punished but there are [Barca] players who didn't respect the principles of fair play or who made racist insults, covering their mouths, who will be on the pitch."

Mourinho will watch from the stands, but Karanka insists the mercurial coach will still be in a position to influence proceedings.

"He will be in the stands, but he will be able to get his message across," Karanka said.

"If we could win and dedicate the victory to him it would be something important.

"Real Madrid have 109 years of proud history and we will fight to the end."

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