Barcelona: Andres Iniesta understands the increased security around the Clasico at the weekend - but is hoping football is the talking point after the match.
Spain`s Ministry of the Interior, Jorge Fernandez Díaz, announced this Wednesday (November 18) that the Clasico will go ahead with enhanced security following last week`s attacks in Paris.
In the aftermath of the atrocities, Spain`s friendly with Belgium was cancelled, while other matches across Europe have gone ahead with much tighter security.
"I think that the situation shatters the peace all over the world, it is unavoidable," said Iniesta at a news conference at Barcelona`s training ground on Thursday.
"I think that we all agree on that and everything is clear. But what I know, and the security forces are telling us is there has to be maximum security, all the possible measures are in place and everyone needs to contribute to this. But the game, as it always has been, is a spectacle, and soccer - and the game itself - can become the focus on a beautiful day for the football world."
Barcelona go into the Clasico with a three point lead at the top of La Liga. Under new manager Rafael Benitez, Real Madrid are not quite as stylish as they once were, but are tight defensively and have only conceded seven times in 11 games.
"Saying that Real Madrid are the weaker team would be a big statement from our side," said Iniesta.
"Every time I have been asked about Real Madrid I always says the same, independently of the coaches they have or what they are telling the press. I see a very powerful opponent and they have one of the best players of the world in every position. They are always a tough challenge, even more so if we play at their stadium with their fans. That makes is more complicated. I think the stats from the first part of the season show they are very good defensively. And offensively, their players are so good they can always score. It`s because of that Real Madrid - Barcelona is always a tough match for us, and the same for them."
Meanwhile Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has been training with the team during the week and could make a return since after two months on the sidelines.
"If he is in the squad it is because he can either play in the starting line up or from the bench," said Iniesta. "We don`t need to attach conditions to him playing. Once you are on the squad sheet, you are qualified to play all the game or a bit of it. At this time its hard to say what`s better. If we have Lionel playing at the start the chances increase for our team because the longer he stays on the pitch, it is much better for us. We will see this on Saturday and will make a decision one way or another."