Esteban Granero has spoken of his long-standing friendship with Gerard Pique but says the Barcelona defender ‘crosses the line’ discussing Real Madrid.
Pique has been involved in a spat with Granero’s former Madrid teammate Alvaro Arbeloa, and took to Twitter to voice his complaints about the centre-back’s part in the row.
“I’ve known Pique for 11 years. I’ve spent a lot of time with him in youth teams and we’ve had a great time, because he’s a super fun guy,” Real Sociedad midfielder Granero told Marca.
“However, I believe that on occasion he has crossed the line and shown a lack of respect to a colleague, making a mistake.
“We don’t have to speak outside of Twitter but there is no problem for me and I’m sure not for him. We’ve always had a great relationship but you can’t disrespect a teammate, especially if we are to lead by example so there are no problems between sets of fans.
“I don’t want to take things out of proportion. I hope there’s no more on the issue and we can dedicate ourselves to football.
“It’s true Arbeloa is my friend and when a friend is disrespected, I want to be there to defend him. I’ve never hidden my support of Madrid, and now, after Real Sociedad, Madrid is my team.”
That support for Madrid was elaborated upon, particularly after the Bernabeu crowd sang Granero’s name during a recent home fixture.
“I was always surprised by how the fans treated me. It’s true that the three years I was there were good and we won some trophies,” he recalled.
“My relationship with the Madrid fans was amazing, they always behaved very well towards me. The crowd understood I gave everything, which I now attempt to do for La Real, and it’s nice to be recognised.”