Gerard Pique has reflected on how there was a time he was ‘scared’ for the atmosphere in the Spain camp due to a heightened Clasico rivalry.
With a majority of La Roja’s players split between Barcelona and Real Madrid, tension was seen to peak with the national team during 2011’s run of a number of Clasico meetings that spilled over into confrontation.
It was a situation that Pique has admitted he was concerned for.
“There was a time when I was scared for the atmosphere of the team,” Pique considered in an interview run with So Foot this week.
“Fortunately we are mature, we sat down and talked. In the end we won the 2012 European Championship together.”
Pique also reflected on the importance of La Masia to Barca’s recent spell of success.
“Historically Madrid were always ahead, but we are changing that trend. We have an extraordinary generation that has come out of La Masia with which we can compete against them.
“[But] the player coming out of La Masia is perfect to play at Barca but can have problems at other teams. You do not always have the ball, for example.”
The centre-back is also a club member at Barca and revealed that his worst moment as a fan was Luis Figo’s move to Real Madrid in 2000.
“My worst memory as a fan was when he left to go to Madrid, it was terrible for the fans and the club.”
Yesterday saw So Foot release a first extract from this interview with Pique, that saw him reflect on notable encounters with former Barcelona Coach Louis van Gaal and former Manchester United teammate Roy Keane.
The defender’s grandfather, former Barca director Amador Bernabeu, had invited Van Gaal round to the family home for dinner.
“I was 13 or 14, I wanted to impress. I came home, and wow, there was the Coach of Barca,” considered Pique.
“I thought, ‘in three or four years I would like to play for the team’.
“But he shoved me and I fell to the ground. I was devastated. I did not open my mouth the entire meal.”
The same interview saw the 26-year-old reflect on another memory held from his time as a United player, relating to his then captain, Roy Keane.
“He inspired fear. I remember one day, whilst in the United dressing room before a game, I was just hanging up my trousers and suddenly the phone, which was in one of the pockets, began to vibrate.
“I immediately cut it, and it made no sound, it just vibrated.
“But he went crazy, screaming ‘what the f***?!’ He screamed and screamed. It was terrifying.”