Barcelona have confirmed that Andres Iniesta faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a calf injury at the Bernabeu.
Iniesta was substituted for Sergi Roberto with 18 minutes remaining on Saturday and spent the remainder of the game holding an ice pack to his right leg whilst sitting in the dugout.
After undergoing tests yesterday morning, the Catalan club announced that Iniesta will be out for an unspecified period while the calf strain subsides.
The midfielder responded to the news by tweeting: “I am starting my recovery to be there with the team as soon as possible. Forca Barca!”
And he expressed his disappointment about the loss against Madrid, adding: “Losing these games always hurts more – now we will continue to improve.”
Although no timescale has been given for Iniesta’s absence, injuries of that nature usually require a spell on the sidelines of at least two weeks, meaning he would miss La Liga meetings with Celta Vigo and Almeria as well as a Champions League trip to Ajax.
He could also be a doubt for Spain’s European Championship qualifier with Belarus on Saturday, November 15 as well as a showpiece friendly against world champions Germany three days later.
The injury rounded off a disappointing Clasico for Iniesta, who struggled to exert a significant attacking impact for Barca and got his wires crossed with Javier Mascherano to gift possession to Isco in the build-up to the home team’s third goal.
Iniesta’s absence could give a rare extended opportunity for 22-year-old midfielder Sergi Roberto to impress.
However young attacking midfielder Rafinha – who was on loan at Celta Vigo under manager Luis Enrique last season – will also hope to come into the reckoning for more action.
Meanwhile, Russia coach Fabio Capello has claimed Barcelona forward Neymar has an “annoying attitude” and needs to cut out the diving.
Earlier this year Pele admitted his Brazilian countryman has a problem with diving, five months after then-Celtic manager Neil Lennon had made the same accusations after a Champions League tie.
Capello, who led Real Madrid to league titles in 1997 and 2007 during his two spells in charge of the club, told Fox Sports Italy: “Neymar is a great striker, but I hate that a player of his level has to fall to the ground every time you touch him. He has a very annoying attitude.”
Know more about Sport360 Application