Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has explained why Sergio Busquets was taken out of the starting line-up just before kick-off of El Clasico.
Busquets was named in the Barca midfield as expected when the starting line-ups were released to the public.
With 15 minutes to the start of the game, it was announced by the club that Ivan Rakitic would be starting ahead of the 2010 World Cup winner.
Valverde revealed after the goalless draw with Real Madrid that the 31-year-old's absence was down to a virus.
"It is true that Busquets was feeling bad, he had a fever, before the game," Valverde told Movistar.
"We thought we could have used him in the second half but not in the end. The coach makes the decision based on what he sees."
The point sees the Catalan giants remain top of LaLiga, although they sit level on points with Los Blancos who have inferior goal difference.