Pique urges Confederations focus

Gerard Pique discussed Spain’s dressing room Clasico countenance, Spaniards playing abroad and how La Roja aren't obsessed with meeting Brazil.

The Barcelona defender is currently in Brazil with the national team preparing for the start of Spain’s Confederations Cup campaign.

For the 26-year-old, the competition holds value, but so too does the dressing room holding focus.

“We must focus on the Confederations Cup because it is a very nice competition in which we will face great teams that have won on their continent,” commented Pique in talking to AS today.

“It is similar to the Intercontinental Cup and the Club World Cup, which is now a prestigious tournament. The national team has to have the Confederations Cup.

“A Brazil-Spain final would be nice, but we must not obsess or talk too much about it. In the previous Confederations Cup in South Africa we spoke of the clash with Brazil and we were eliminated at the semi-final stage by the United States.

“We must go step by step, we have to work to get out of the group first and then we’ll see in the knockouts, but we must not be obsessed with Spain-Brazil.”

Pique left Barcelona for a four-year spell in England with Manchester United, but in having returned to Spain, has now seen a number of his international colleagues make the move out to the Premier League.

“On the one side it is good for the national team and on the other it is bad for the League because they are players that are of your country.

“For the player it is good to leave because as people they will grow a lot, you get to know another environment, culture and if it is in England, where almost all of them are, the football is great, the atmosphere, the stadiums, the whole ethos surrounding the Premier League, there is much respect as a player and it is also a very, very competitive League.”

Pique also spoke with Marca this week, where he focused on Spain’s ability to have kept their dressing room united in spite of the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona at club level threatening to boil over.

“I didn’t believe the tension [during Jose Mourinho’s era at Madrid] would destroy the national team, because I trusted in the maturity of all of the players.

“Things got to the point where they crossed the line, and that made for a tense atmosphere. That's where everyone's maturity came in to play in order to say: ‘That's enough’.

“It wasn't Mourinho who did it. It was some of the players who realised that it was getting out of hand.

“The rivalry? I'm sure it will go back to being what it has always been. Tense games between two top-quality teams. A brilliant spectacle.”

The defender was asked to consider why Mourinho’s method during his three years in Spain focused on stirring the rivalry further.

“I can understand it, because it got to the point where I think we were quite superior to Real Madrid and we were winning lots of trophies.

“He tried to take the game off the field of play and I think he acted like that because he felt inferior to Barcelona, but at the end of the day the pitch is where things happen.

“Everything else just creates a bad vibe and generates things which aren't good for the national team or for this sport.”

Tags Confederations Cup mourinho Pique Spain