Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly expected Barcelona to lose to Deportivo after their 6-1 Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain last week.
Barcelona slumped to a shock 2-1 loss to Deportivo on Sunday just days after staging one of football’s greatest ever comebacks.
Trailing 5-3 on aggregate to PSG on Wednesday night with seven minutes remaining, Neymar (2) and Sergi Roberto struck to send the Catalan giants through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
It was a result that sent shockwaves through football and fierce rivals Real Madrid in particular.
But Spanish outlet Don Balon claims Ronaldo foresaw Barcelona’s bump back down to earth.
It is said that the former Manchester United star predicted the Catalan giants would lose focus and slip up in the race for the La Liga title.
The reason why? The conduct of Barcelona players in the hours and days after the famous win.
Neymar missed the Deportivo game with an injury but took to Instagram to post pictures of him celebrating the birthday of his sister, Rafaella.
Other squad members also took to social media to display images of them partying in the dressing room.
Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo have now made it clear to the rest of the squad that Madrid must beat Barcelona to the La Liga and Champions League in order to stop their rivals celebrating further.
At the end of the Real Betis game, the win was celebrated in Madrid but thoughts quickly turned to next Saturday and a fixture at the new San Mames which will be like a final.
Real consider a win there to be fundamental for their pursuit of LaLiga and think that Bilbao is the most complicated game that they have left until the end of the season.
Their goal is to defeat Athletic and reach the international break top of the table.
It is true that the second, third, and fourth teams in LaLiga; Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico, must still play at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu between now and the end of the domestic championship.
Of the 12 remaining matches, seven will be away from home: Bilbao, Leganes, Gijon, La Coruna, Granada, Vigo and Malaga, and Real’s players believe that none will be more difficult than next Saturday in San Mames.