Former Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero has hit out at Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, tweeting that the Spanish centre-back should ‘respect his superiors’. Granero, now plying his trade in Real Soceidad, took offense at Pique’s latest swipe at Spanish national teammate Alvaro Arbeloa.
Granero tweeted a picture of Arbeloa holding up 10 fingers while posing with Real Madrid’s Champions League trophy, signifying La Decima. In the same tweet, Granero also mentioned ‘Pique, please, put your inferiority complex to one side and respect your superiors’, which coupled with the image, was an obvious reference to Real Madrid’s superior European record than Barcelona.
The war of words between the two players all came about from a rather innocuous looking tweet from Gerard Pique. However, the timing of the tweet was particularly important, as it coincided with the news that Real Madrid had been expelled from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player. Pique then tweeted a series of emoticons, all depicted crying with laughter.
Pique copped a lot of flack for his rather immature tweet, with Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa taking a swipe at the Barcelona man’s behaviour & at Barcelona’s history as well. Speaking in a post-match press conference, Arbeloa said, “Pique seems obsessed with us.”
"I'll see him in a comedy club talking about Madrid. The last 10 years for Barca don't equal Madrid's history.”
Gerard Pique did not take too kindly to Arbeloa’s words. Speaking after Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Deportivo, the defender said, “Arbeloa has previously said he is my friend. I don’t consider him my friend, maybe an acquaintance. Not a friend.”
Pique’s comments are particularly caustic when one notes the Spanish he used to make the comments. ‘Conocido’, is the Spanish word for acquaintance, however, Pique paused after saying ‘cono...cido’. Cono is a derogatory term in Spanish, with Pique using a clever play on words to take a dig at his Spanish teammate.
The Spain National Team manager, Vicente del Bosque, has expressed his displeasure at how the international teammates are behaving, noting it would harm team morale. Speaking to the press, del Bosque said, “It's not great that there are piques between them. In the national team when there has been problems we've found a solution.
"It's history between the two clubs, the coach has nothing to say. It's a problem with the clubs. When we are with the national team we take the necessary measures. I guess I'll have to talk to them.”
Perhaps the best response to the entire matter has come from Cristiano Ronaldo, who said, “It's not worth talking about, I don't want to give free publicity.”