Barca forward Neymar finally ruled out of El Clasico

Neymar (back) trained with Barcelona on Saturday but is not in the squad for El Clasico

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Barcelona have dropped their bid to have forward Neymar available for Sunday's game against Real Madrid.

The Brazil international's one-game ban for being sent off against Malaga was extended to three matches because he sarcastically applauded the fourth official when coming off.

The Spanish football federation rejected Barca's appeal on Friday, so the club took their case to Spain's Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAD).

TAD called an emergency meeting on Saturday, but it could not take place because not all of its members could attend and Barcelona have decided not to include 25-year-old Neymar in their squad.

Real forward Gareth Bale could return from injury for El Clasico as they look to close in on a first La Liga title since 2012.

The Wales international, 27, has missed the past two matches with a muscle injury but returned to training on Thursday.

Real, who have one game in hand, lead second-placed Barca, champions for the past two years, by three points.

A home win at the Bernabeu would send Zinedine Zidane's side six points clear of Barca, who have five games left after Sunday. It would also give the European champions the head-to-head advantage - which is used to separate teams level on points in Spain.

Enrique's side are looking to bounce back against their bitter rivals after being knocked out of the Champions League quarter-final by Juventus in midweek - the second successive season they have failed to reach the semi-finals.

This is Enrique's last El Clasico in charge of Barcelona after the 46-year-old announced in March he was stepping down at the end of the season.

Barca are in the final of the Copa del Rey but Enrique knows that even if his side beat Alaves on 27 May, it will be scant consolation if they fail to win La Liga following another disappointing European campaign.

Analysis: A game like no other

Former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman on Eyes On Events Radio 5 live

El Clasico is not like Everton against Liverpool or even Liverpool against Manchester United where there is a lot of rivalry. The fans hate each other when this comes round. I was there when Luis Figo had a pig's head thrown at him.

What you don't realise is that there were whisky bottles and mobile phones on the pitch as well - anything they could throw, they threw.

There were armed guards running alongside the team coach with rifles pointing out at anyone. If it was in England, you'd be absolutely shocked it went on. If anything this fixture seems to have got bigger and the rivalry has got more intense.

BBC

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