Barcelona star putting La Liga before Champions League

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Barcelona star Gerard Pique has claimed that a successful La Liga campaign is more important to his side than the Champions League.

26-year-old Pique, who arrived at Camp Nou from Premier League champions Manchester United in May 2008, is an integral part of Gerardo Martino's first-team squad and has won four La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns with the Catalan giants.

Despite the club's formidable success in European competition, however, Pique has insisted that success in the league is more important to Barcelona.

Speaking at a press conference that was quoted by, the Spanish international said: "I think Barcelona’s role is to win the league above all. The Champions League is an extra that means you have had a tremendously good season.

"If you base everything on winning the Champions League, things can look bad if you don’t end up doing so - that’s why the league is more important.

"Against Bayern [last season] we weren’t comfortable, they were better than us, and that’s it. We won the league last season in a tremendous fashion and that is valuable," he added.

Barcelona's 2013/14 Champions League campaign commences tomorrow evening with a home clash against Eredivisie contenders Ajax in Group H. 

Blaugrana, whose manager Martino is in his first season in charge of the club, won the La Liga title last season after finishing 15 points of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

They are currently second in La Liga on goal difference after winning their first four fixtures of the new domestic season. Following tomorrow's encounter against Frank de Boer's men, Barcelona return to action on Saturday away to struggling Rayo Vallecano. 

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