Real Madrid’s Aitor Karanka believes Barcelona should not play accused racist Sergio Busquets in the Champions League semi-final second leg.Karanka spoke in place of head coach Jose Mourinho on Monday, who refused to face the press ahead of Tuesday’s second leg at Camp Nou.
He believes Barcelona should not be fielding Busquets after the defensive utility was accused of calling Marcelo a ‘monkey’ behind his hand in the Catalan club’s 2-0 first-leg win last Wednesday.
A video supporting Real’s claims of the Busquets insult was released by the club on Monday.
“I’m just saying that an organisation based on respect and fair play permits some players to be on the pitch tomorrow even though it’s been shown that they don’t respect these values,” the former Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao defender said.
“They have used racist insults covering their mouths so that nobody could see it. Two of our players (Sergio Ramos and Pepe) who didn’t do any of that are not playing.”
Barcelona playmaker Xavi has dismissed the reports of bigotry, applauding UEFA’s decision to reject Real’s claims.
“It’s pitiful. Barcelona have shown respect for their rivals in all their games, an example-setting behaviour and for me all what is happening is pitiful,” the 31-year-old said.
“All those reports don’t take us anywhere. UEFA have logically and evidently rejected these reports. We try to talk about football and not those details, which are pitiful.”
Real’s French striker Karim Benzema will need to play a key role for his side to recover from the deficit, having hit 23 goals for his side in all competitions this season.
Benzema said he and his team-mates were well aware of what they need to overcome in order to progress to the final, where they will face either Manchester United or Schalke.
“Tomorrow we have 90 minutes to come back. But it is not only about coming back, it is about winning,” the former Lyon goal machine said.
“People are aware it is going to be difficult but we are going to do the best we can in order to play a good match.”