Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos admits he has been enjoying Barcelona’s recent problems.
The Catalans threw away a comfortable lead in La Liga thanks to a four-game winless streak, allowing Atletico Madrid and Real to force their way back into the title race.
They also crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Atleti.
Ramos says Barca’s difficulties are a good thing for Madrid and believes the result of the Clasico – a 2-1 win for Zindedine Zidane’s men – played a big role in the Camp Nou side’s slump.
“Of course I enjoy things going badly at Barcelona. I like it because it benefits us,” Ramos told COPE.
“I do not wish bad things on anyone, though. I enjoy their struggles for sporting reasons. Everything that is bad for Barcelona is good for Real Madrid.
“Winning at Camp Nou was a big blow for them. A Clasico is always about more than just three points. It is the game of the season. It was tough for them mentally.
“They could have decided La Liga, but we reduced the gap instead. Of course, that leads to doubts.
“The league was theirs to lose. They have everything in their own hands, so you can say they lost the title if they don’t win it.”
Ramos also had his say on the ongoing war of words between Gerard Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa and feels the Barcelona defender should know better than to engage in childish mind games.
“You cannot avoid these kinds of debates. But an experienced player like Pique should avoid these sorts of childish things,” he added.
“I think a little humour never hurts but there is a time and place for such actions and always, of course, without disrespecting either party.”