Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has leapt to the defence of Barcelona rival Gerard Pique in light of the boos recently directed at him by Spain fans.
Speaking to Cadena COPE on Wednesday, the patron covered a number of bases, including Rafa Benitez's impact on Los Blancos, his role in Iker Casillas' departure to Porto, Jose Mourinho's possible return, Sergio Ramos' contract saga, the speculation surrounding Gareth Bale, the arrival of another striker, Jorge Mendes' influence at the club and presidential elections.
“Everyone makes mistakes, but it doesn't seem right that he's being booed, even more so as he's representing our country,” he began.
“Pique is Pique, but the boos seem wrong.
“We have a great team and a great Coach. We've greatly improved our squad.
“I didn't want to sell [Iker Casillas]. If I had it my way, he'd have ended his career in Madrid .
“He told me he wanted to leave but he spent the last two years under a lot of pressure.
“He wrote off the final two years of his contract and left.
"I don't understand it when our players are booed. I've defended all of Casillas' appearances.
"Mourinho treated Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Casillas equally. Iker was only alternated under Ancelotti. It surprised me but I couldn't intervene.
“The best Coach I've ever had is Rafa Benitez.
“Sergio didn't use the Press to get more money out of us. He never wanted to leave Madrid and we knew he'd never leave.
“We didn't receive any offers for him and it took us five minutes to sort everything out with him.
“[Gareth] Bale's been a madridista since he was little. Why would he leave? It would've been the same if [Carlo Ancelotti] was still here.
“Benitez felt signing another striker on September 1 would disturb the squad. There aren't many players who can replace Benzema.
“I won't appoint [Mourinho] again, but he allowed us to take a significant leap forward.
“[Pepe's] a great person and player. I didn't sign him but I have the same affection for all the players here.
“[On Atletico Madrid-Barcelona], a draw suits us. We're not afraid of either of them.
“[Jorge Mendes] doesn't exert any influence here. Mendes has three players here, three of the best in Ronaldo, James [Rodriguez] and Pepe.
“Madrid are the most powerful club in the world and journalists don't like power. I have no doubt that [our power] makes us a target for bad news.
“There are daily sports outlets who are obsessed with attacking me and therefore Real Madrid.
“We didn't speak to Spain or England about the Santiago Bernabeu hosting their [November] friendly, neither did the RFEF ask us.
“There will be elections and someday I'll have to step down. I'm not going to be President forever.”