Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was happy to see Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo cry after winning the 2013 Ballon d'Or award last month.
The two players might now be at rival clubs, but they previously played together at Manchester United - and Pique still has a great deal of respect for the Portugal captain, who turned 29 today, and was happy that he showed some emotion after winning the prestigious individual accolade for the second time in his career.
"I like the fact that Ronaldo won and cried. It really mattered to him," Pique was quoted as saying by Marca. "He had suffered a bit and that's why he reacted the way he did. He's known as a tough character, for being superior in both a good and bad way."
Pique revealed that Ronaldo helped him to settle at Old Trafford when he first arrived from Barcelona as a teenager in 2004 - and this is just one of the reasons why the Spanish defender holds such a high opinion of the prolific forward.
"If I always speak well about Cristiano it's because I like him," Pique added. "People can draw their own conclusions from the gestures and comments, but they don't know. I must add that he's changed a bit recently. He helped me a lot when I joined United."
Ronaldo and Pique have been involved in some classic battles between the two La Liga rivals since 2009.
However, their friendship seems to have been largely unaffected by the long list of notorious Clasico duels of the Guardiola-Mourinho era.
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