Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique admits he relishes stoking the fires of the club’s intense rivalry with Real Madrid.
Pique has courted plenty of controversy over past incidents involving La Liga rivals Madrid, famously mocking Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of Barca’s treble winning 2014-15 season.
The former Manchester United defender also made fun of Madrid’s expulsion from the Copa del Rey this season, which led to a public war of words with international team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa.
But Pique believes the competition between the sides is what makes them among the best in the world.
“I am clear in what is my way of being and behave according to it,” he said in an interview with GQ magazine.
“The Barca-Madrid rivalry is what has always made us be among the greatest.
“So, from time to time I like to stir up the rivalry.”
Barca remain on course to repeat last season’s treble as they hold a nine-point lead at the top of La Liga, are in the final of the Copa del Rey and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
On their success, Pique added: “It is a family. We are team-mates who have shared the jersey for many years.
“We share losses, wins, questions, problems, joys, injuries. And I don’t just mean the players. I also speak of physios, doctors, coaches. We have had many good experiences.”