Gerard Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa aren’t exactly the best of friends.
The two Spaniards have been at each other’s throats, via petty comments made to the media, for some time now - so of course journalists wanted to hear what Pique had to say about Arbeloa’s Real Madrid send-off.
The full-back played his final match at the Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon against Valencia - Zinedine Zidane sent him on for Cristiano Ronaldo with 10 minutes left to play - and was given a heroes’ send-off by the Real Madrid supporters, players and staff.
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Pique might have been tempted to make a sarcastic comment - Real Madrid fans wouldn’t have been surprised had the Barcelona centre-back done so - but, fair play to the 29-year-old, he wished his former Spain international teammate all the best for the future and admitted he deserved his special send-off.
"I wish him the best wherever he goes next," Pique said of Arbeloa, according to Goal. "If they have given him a send-off like that, it is because he has deserved it.”
Pique: We shouldn't have done it
On their war of words, Pique added: "Sometimes the tone has been a bit too much and we shouldn't have done it.
"But he's had a great career with some big trophies, including the World Cup, and for wherever he goes I wish him well."
Arbeloa: I would do Periscope with Pique
Perhaps Pique went easy on Arbeloa after the Real Madrid ace revealed he would do a Periscope with his old foe over at the Camp Nou.
“It’s much easier to repair my relationship with Pique,” the 33-year-old said when asked if it was easier for him to make up with Pique or win the Ballon d’Or. “For me to win the Ballon d’Or, all the other players would have to die! If we win La Undecima (an eleven European Cup), I’ll do a Periscope with Pique."
Copa del Rey tweet sparked war of words
Their recent war of words was sparked by Pique’s Twitter reaction to Real Madrid deploying the ineligible Denis Cheryshev in a Copa del Rey match against Cadiz back in December - an incident which resulted in the Spanish giants being kicked out of the competition by the Spanish Football Federation.
"Piqué seems obsessed with us. One day I'll see him on [Spanish satirical TV show] The Comedy Club doing an act about Real Madrid,” Arbeloa was quoted as saying by Marca at the time, adding: "Barça's last 10 years aren't enough to match Real Madrid's history".
This prompted Pique to hit back at Arbeloa and refer to him using the derogatory nickname by which he is known in Spain: ‘The Cone’ - as in a training ground cone.
"Arbeloa 'the cone' goes round claiming he's a friend of mine, but he's nothing more than an acquaintance,” Pique bit back, rather harshly, per Marca.
Arbeloa blasted Pique for 'lack of respect'
Several months later, despite having plenty of time to calm down, Arbeloa blasted Pique for showing a lack of respect.
"Many people told me 'You have to respond'," the defender was quoted as saying by Goal. "I have digested it enough.
"You usually heat up and respond straight away, but later you realise it is better to let the situation cool over and not say certain things.
"I could explain to the world why I am not Pique's friend, but maybe he would not be in a good way if I did that.
"It's also true that I know his family, and the respect I have for them he does not have for mine."
The Spaniard added: "Our families are important. We hear a lot of claptrap and more or less you don't care, but those close to you suffer.
"Thinking about that, I preferred not to respond. If he attacked Real Madrid once again, I would have jumped, because I will defend them always.
"To attack me is different. This is my form of acting. To not respond is better than to say things that could have been said."
Water under the bridge?
Only time will tell if Pique’s comments will be enough to finally put an end to their childish arguments.
Who has been the most petty in this war of words: Gerard Pique or Alvaro Arbeloa? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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