Neymar misses Clasico after Spanish league imposes ban
Barcelona forward Neymar will miss the Clasico after being handed a three-match ban by the Spanish authorities.
The Brazil star was sent off in the weekend's defeat to Malaga after two bookings, the first of which was given for timewasting as he adjusted his boot laces.
Following his second yellow, shown for a foul, Neymar was seen to sarcastically applaud the match officials at La Rosaleda.
The Spanish league has extended his automatic one-match ban for his red card by two further matches, because of his reaction to the second booking, which was noted by referee Jesus Gil Manzano. The extended suspension means he will miss what will potentially be the most important league game of the season, away at Real Madrid on April 23.
It was the first red card of Neymar's career at Barcelona and the team’s first dismissal of the season in any competition.
Neymar was already set to miss the home game against Real Sociedad at the weekend but will now sit out the trip to Madrid and the following match, at home to Osasuna on April 26.
Winning in the Bernabeu is likely to be critical to Barca's hopes of winning the league title as they are three points behind their great rivals, having played 31 games to Real Madrid's 30.
Madrid-based paper As reports that Barca are likely to appeal the decision.
With additional reporting by Reuters.