‘No life or death for Spain’

Gerard Pique has looked to alleviate the pressure from his Spain teammates by suggesting that failure to beat France on Tuesday would not be a disaster.

La Roja travel out to Paris this week two points behind Les Bleus, after only drawing at home to Finland on Friday.

Failure to beat Didier Deschamps’ men would see the defending world champions realistically contemplating second place in the group and going through the play-offs to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“It is not a game of life or death. For example, Barcelona against Milan [in the Champions League Last 16], we had to turn around two goals or we were eliminated, and this time that is not so,” reflected the defender on COPE this week.

“To not win in France would be a blow, but then we would have the play-offs, which would give us another chance.

“This profession is about playing games like that on Tuesday. I feel privileged to participate in 90 minutes against one of the best teams in the world.

“Even if we had won against Finland we would have come here with the intention of winning anyway.

“It was not in the plans to draw, but sometimes you do not win even when you have been superior.

“We are in a country that is too well accustomed and as soon as we drop a level it is like the world has ended, but we have been a team for years.

“To hang balls in the box is not the style of this team, it is clear that we could win a game like that, but I would not be proud.

“Against Finland we did not play badly, but we have to create more chances. We must learn to play to score, and whilst we have our style, we must play in our minds to achieve more than a 1-0.”

Pique was asked of his discussion with Alvaro Arbeloa during Friday’s game.

“Discussions are had all the time. I guess with one player being from Barca and the other Madrid then you are eager to shine more light on it, but by the end of the game it had been forgotten.

“There are times when you intend to direct teammates, nothing more.

“There was a time when relations between Barca and Madrid players were not the best, but that was long ago, we are all together in La Seleccion.

“We all defend our team, but here we are all one.”

The defender continued the ongoing trend of considering which players from Madrid he would sign for Barca, if possible.

“Pepe, Varane, Ramos. And Iker also.”

Tags France Pique Spain