Pique calls for end to verbal attacks on Barcelona

Madrid, Jan 2 : FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has called for a stop to the unfair criticism on his club.

It has been a difficult year for Barcelona. Apart from questions raised over the style of play, the club has also had to contend with accusations of corruption raised against club president Sandro Rosell over the purchase of Brazilian striker Neymar, while Lionel Messi was also accused of tax evasion along with his father, Jorge, reports Xinhua.

Madrid newspaper El Mundo also launched accusations, later denied by authorities, that Jorge Messi was being investigated for money laundering on behalf of drug cartels.

Meanwhile, several stories about possible departures from the club, including those of Messi and Carles Puyol, which have later been shown to be false, have also appeared in the Madrid based press.

For Pique, never a man to hold back his opinions, it is more than just coincidence behind all of these accusations.

"We are being attacked from all sides. There has to come a moment when you have to say enough is enough," he said.

Messi has been the target for many of these accusations and Pique defended his teammate, who returns to Spain Thursday after close to a month in his home in Argentina recovering from a muscle injury.

"There are laws and rules and someone who puts down those rules and imposes the law. There is a time to stop. Somebody should start to impose justice for all the rubbish that is being thrown in Messi's direction," continued the Spanish defender.

Pique was also asked about Barca's arch rival, Real Madrid, who have won just one BBVA Primera Liga title and one Copa del Rey in the past five seasons as Barca have dominated the Spanish league.

"It is difficult for Real Madrid to see how their rival wins so many titles. We lived through the same situation a while ago and it is very difficult but they have to accept the things as they are. Sometimes one side wins and sometimes it's the other. It is a question of cycles and this one belongs to Barca," he said.

Pique's side are currently are on level on points with Atletico Madrid at the top of the league table with Real Madrid five points off the pace. The defender sees Atletico as a big threat for this season's title.

"We are level on points and we beat then in the Supercup, but they have come from where they come from and we have come from a different place. Atletico have enjoyed two very good years," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 02-01-2014)

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