Gerard Pique's comments about Barcelona's spending in 2013 now look ridiculous

FC Barcelona Training and Press Conference

When we say Barcelona are spending big money, we really aren't kidding.

Long gone are the days of promoting swathes of players from La Masia for virtually nothing and in are the days of splashing the clash just like their bitter rivals Real Madrid.

As recently as five years ago, there was a real sense that that was the dividing factor between the El Clasico rivals, but Barcelona have now been drawn into the transfer market more than ever.

Although they have spent big on Neymar and Luis Suarez over the last six years, their expenditure has accelerated at a remarkable rate under Ernesto Valverde. 

The Blaugrana spent in excess of £100 million for both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, before shelling out £76 million on an up and coming player in Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona ramp up the spending

Then, Antoine Griezmann became the latest player to join the list to the tune of £107 million and there's potential for Atletico Madrid to demand even more.

However, it seems as though Barcelona could go even further and they have been linked with re-signing Neymar for a similar price they sold him to Paris Saint-Germain for.

It's a jarring change of policy that might not sit well with Gerard Pique who has expressed his pride in Barcelona's tradition in the past - and particularly during an interview in 2013.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-ATLETICO-BARCELONA

Pique's comments haven't aged well

The Spaniard boasted that, unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona didn't need to spend big money and hefty purchases for players like Neymar were simply anomalies.

According to Goal, Pique told Marca at the time: "Barcelona can't do that, we know that we are different because we can compete with them without having to spend so much.

"Real Madrid had a year without winning titles and spend €160 million on three players - Illarramendi, Isco and Gareth Bale.

"Obviously, we can sign Neymar for 60 or €70m, but not three or four players. We are not a poor club, but we are competing with the richest club of all."

It's fair to say that Pique's comments haven't aged well.

Sure, Real Madrid are also continuing to pay big money for players like Eden Hazard, but the fact of the matter is that Barcelona have been sucked into doing the exact same thing.

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Has it been a successful approach so far? Probably not as far as the club are concerned. Despite keeping Real under their thumb domestically, the Champions League continues to evade them.

Only time will tell whether spending an extra €300 million will reap the benefits this season, but the mental scars of AS Roma and Liverpool hang large over Camp Nou.

Do you think Barcelona get away lightly with their spending? Have your say in the comments section below.

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