Barcelona icon Gerard Pique has confessed that Real Madrid are a great club despite the two La Liga giants’ El Clasico rivalry.
The Spaniard surprisingly praised Los Blancos despite the historic feud between the two legendary Spanish clubs. He said (via Madrid Xtra):
“Despite the rivalry, Real Madrid is a great club.”
Pique’s comments come after a season in which Barcelona and Madrid clashed on five occasions across competitions. The Blaugrana won three of five El Clasico games that were played this past season, including a 3-1 Supercopa de Espana final win. The Catalan giants also got the better of Los Merengues in the title race, winning their first La Liga title since 2019.
The rivalry stems all the way back to 1902 and has grown into one of, if not, the greatest rivalries in sport. There are not only footballing reasons behind the rivalry but also cultural and political themes.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are regarded as two of the best clubs in European history. Los Blancos sit atop Forbes’ list of the most valuable clubs in the world with a value of $6.07 billion while Barca are third with a value of $5.51 billion.
Pique knows what the El Clasico rivalry is all about as he played in 42 of them during his illustrious career. The Blaugrana legend was on the winning side 19 times, while he lost 13 times.
The Spaniard retired last November but is evidently impressed by the current Madrid side at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal. They won the Copa del Rey last season and have already made their move in the summer transfer window.
Real Madrid have signed Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund for €103 million ($112 million) which is their second most-expensive signing in history. It’s clear they are looking to avenge their title collapse to Barcelona next season.
Arda Guler chooses Real Madrid over Barcelona
Real Madrid have reportedly followed up on the signing of Bellingham by luring Turkish wonderkid Arda Guler to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims that the Fenerbahce attacker has joined Los Blancos for a €20 million fixed fee with a 20% sell-on clause and extra add-ons in the package.
Guler was on Barcelona’s radar but he snubbed the opportunity to join the La Liga champions, instead opting for their El Clasico rivals. It comes as a blow for Xavi as the Turkish teenager was one of Europe’s most-coveted teenagers.
The 18-year-old scored six goals and provided seven assists in 35 games across competitions this past season. He has been compared to Barca legend Lionel Messi for his talent on the ball and his accomplished dribbling skills.
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