Spain's internationals ready to forget clasicos
Rival players from Barcelona and Real Madrid gathered with the Spain squad Tuesday and vowed to put the bad blood from a series of ill-tempered matches behind them.
The World Cup winner plays the United States in a friendly on Saturday before traveling to Venezuela three days later for its first internationals since the four meetings in 18 days between bitter rivals Barcelona and Madrid over April and May.
The teams accused each other of poor sportsmanship following the bruising, emotional series of games, as Madrid won the Copa del Rey and Barcelona won their Champions League semifinal.
''We have to forget about this matter. There is no real conflict, it's all just rivalry from what happened in play,'' Madrid defender Sergio Ramos told reporters. ''It's in the past and we have to focus on the national team now. It's not about remembering what was said or what happened in those games. The group gets along well so we have to forget all about that for the good of the team.''
The two Spanish clubs have a combined 11 players in the squad, even though Barcelona regulars Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez will both miss this trip.
''This will be resolved in one minute, I don't think there will be any problems,'' defender Joan Capdevila said.
Ramos said the return had so far been smooth for the European champions.
''I'm happy to be back with the rest of my international teammates,'' Ramos said. ''The reunion, like always, is very natural, without any type of problem.''