Former Valencia and Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has blasted the Spanish press due to the ‘pressure and demands’ they bring.
Having joined Sporting CP this summer, the Frenchman believed the pressure did not help his smoking habit and hit out at the reporting of his habit.
“It is not the same pressure that I endured in Spain over the years I played there,” Mathieu told Record.
“There are demands here of course but not the same as there were at Barcelona.
“The pressure and demand is brought about by the Spanish press - they put a lot of pressure on you when you have a bad performance
"They hunt you down every day and put you down; it is not easy at times like those.
“I was criticised for being a smoker, but I’m neither the first nor the last player to smoke.
“All that is important for me is how people feel when they see me player, nothing else matters.”