Xavi surprised suspended Real Madrid star will be allowed to play El Clasico

Photo: Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has said he is surprised Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez has been permitted to play in the upcoming El Clasico clash.

Nacho was sent off for a straight red card following a reckless challenge on Girona’s Portu last month, and was hit with a ban for three matches.

However, the suspension has been cut to two games after Real Madrid appealed the decision this week.

Nacho, who has already served one game of the ban, will miss Saturday’s trip to Sevilla, and will be eligible to face Barcelona on October 28.

Xavi has now reacted to this development.

“It’s a complete surprise,” Xavi said in a news conference on Friday when asked for his thoughts on the ruling.

“Last season, the three-game ban for [Robert] Lewandowski for touching his own nose was not reduced, so it was a big surprise to see the news Nacho’s was decreased to two games.”