Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has praised Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos for defending Alvaro Arbeloa in the wake of the recent war of words between the two.
Arbeloa accused Pique of being obsessed with Madrid after the centre-back seemingly mocked the Santiago Bernabeu side for fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev in the Copa del Rey encounter with Cadiz, which eventually led to their expulsion from the competition.
The Barcelona defender consequently took a swipe at the full-back again, with former Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero also joining the debate, telling Pique to “forget his complexes and respect his elders”.
Ramos then had his say on the matter as well, but Pique has now attempted to put a stop to the ongoing verbal attacks by voicing his admiration for the Madrid captain’s interference.
“Ramos is the captain of Real Madrid and has to defend Arbeloa,” Pique said at a news conference.
“They are team-mates and it is only normal that he defends him. I admire Ramos for defending his team-mate, I genuinely do.
“Granero’s tweet on the matter? I am not surprised by that…
“But I have nothing else to say about Arbeloa. I called him ‘un cono…cido’ [which translates as “an acquaintance” whilst also making clear reference to the derogatory term “cono”], everybody is free to interpret that the way they see fit.”
Pique also had his say on Thursday’s Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao and stressed Barcelona are desperate to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet.
“We came here to win the Club World Cup. It is a great opportunity to win another title,” he added.
“We don’t feel any extra pressure. We always have to win.
“It is true that we are playing teams we don’t know well, but that only makes it more fun. It is a nice challenge.”