Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta admitted on Thursday it is impossible to ignore security concerns ahead of Saturday’s huge clash between Real Madrid and Barca in the Spanish capital just days after a series of deadly attacks in Paris.
The Spanish government have promised security measures on an unprecedented level for the match that will see a capacity 81,000 fans descend upon the Santiago Bernabeu with 2,400 police, stewards and emergency services set to form a triple ring of security around the stadium.
“The situation generates concern for everybody. It is inevitable, I think we all agree on that,” said Iniesta.
“From what I know and what the security forces are saying, all possible measures will be taken and everyone should collaborate so that before, during and after the game a sporting spectacle can take place and it is the game that is the focus for such a special day for the world of football.”
The Stade de France, where France were hosting Germany, was one of a number of targets struck during the attacks on Friday that left 129 dead and over 350 injured.
Iniesta was part of the Spain squad that travelled to Brussels for a friendly against Belgium on Tuesday only for the game to be suspended less than 24 hours before kick-off due to the elevated terror threat.
“Fear isn’t the right word, but there was concern,” Iniesta added.
“We went because it seemed like everything could take place normally despite the situation we were in before they took that decision. A completely correct decision.”
However, he wholeheartedly backed the decision for games across Spain and the rest of Europe to go ahead this weekend.
“It is a shame that people aren’t talking about sport, football or the spectacle, but it is the reality we live in and we can’t ignore it.
“We have to try to return to normality. On Saturday, it is not just Madrid and Barca that are playing, but many games and hopefully everything goes as it always has done.”