Pique: I always want Madrid to lose; that’s the rivalry we’ve always had
Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique recently opened up about his controversial week with the Spanish national team after the fans in Oviedo whistled the player for comments made against Real Madrid.
In his Thursday morning press conference which was announced late Wednesday evening via the club’s website, Pique spoke about his state of mind over the wins over Slovakia and Macedonia, stating that he is excited to get back to action with Barcelona and accepts that the fans will continue to whistle and jeer for his post-treble comments thanking Kevin Roldan.
“I felt pretty good in both games with the national team. I am a positive person and I am usually very happy. I’m excited. There are just two games left on my suspension and then I can move forward.
“I think the booing has to do with the rivalry and my comments on our rivals. I’m not going to change. That’s the way I am. To those who accept me, great. And for those who don’t, also great.
“I never wanted to disrespect anyone. That thing I said at the celebration was a joke, only made by Piqué.”
“I don’t regret anything. I would do it again a thousand times. That’s the way I am. I always want Madrid to lose; that’s rivalry we’ve always had.”
However, Pique went on to add that while it may be difficult for fans to accept that there is a difference between the rivalry on the pitch between Barcelona and Real Madrid and life off the pitch, he insists that he has respect for the club and it’s players.
“The rivalry doesn’t prevent me from having good relationship with Madrid. For example, I have a fantastic relationship with Iker Casillas. In the dressing room we’re a unit and I want people to understand that.
“I’ve never had a better relationship with Sergio Ramos. At first it was a little cold and it’s gotten better, I feel very comfortable being with him and playing with him.”
The towering centre-back dismissed rumours that the booing and whistling could lead to his retirement from the Spanish national team, stressing that he’s more committed than ever before and will continue to be committed until he is no longer called up to the team and beyond.
“I’m fully committed to the Spanish national team. It hurts that people doubt that. After two trebles and a sextuple, I don’t play for prestige or money. I play because I think it’s the right thing to do. And as long as the coach continues to have confidence in me, I’ll keep playing.
“The situation hasn’t affected me personally so much, but more for the team, the coach and my teammates. People have every right in the world to express themselves. I’ll try to get them to change [by playing well]. That’s the situation we have to face up to it.
“I’m out here addressing it because I would like to diffuse the tension. We have to remain united. I will give it my all.”
Pique went on to add that while he will continue playing for the Spanish national team, he is very much Catalan and will continue to support their cause for independance.
“I will go to the [11 September] demonstration like I do every year. History says that the people must be listened to.”
The defender concluded by admitting that on a short week, they face a very tall order this Saturday against Atletico Madrid and must be focused on every aspect in order to beat their direct rival.
“It’s always tough to play when coming back from the national team. We have to be there [both physically and mentally].”