Sant Joan Despi (Spain), Sep 12 (IANS) FC Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has come out in defence of the club’s defender Gerard Pique, saying fans who whistle at Spain’s international footballers are “pathetic.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday on the eve of Barcelona’s La Liga match against Atletico Madrid, the Spaniard referred to statements made on Thursday by Pique in relation to the recent whistling he has received from fans of the Catalan club’s rivals when playing for Spain’s national team, Efe reported.
“Gerard is a wonderful, very honest and very original guy. What he said yesterday was funny and very original,” Enrique said.
Enrique defended the “rivalry” between Barcelona and Real Madrid, although he criticised the whistling his player has received while on international duty with La Roja.
“What I do find pathetic is whistling at a national team player. It’s a little funny that this kind of thing happens in this country,” he stated.
The coach will use the National Day of Catalonia to “work a handful of hours” and make thorough preparations for the clash against the Colchoneros, whom he described as “one of the candidates to win titles” this season.
“We will try to put in a good performance and play a good game because (Vicente Calderon Stadium) and Atletico can make your life complicated,” Luis Enrique said, adding that the team coached by Diego Simeone “is very complete and has many resources”.
Asked about the Colchoneros’ style, Luis Enrique praised his opponent but also pointed to his own achievements: “Simeone has proven to be a coach who can win titles. I have too.”