Real Madrid star hits back at Gerard Pique’s Champions League jibe

Real Madrid forward Joselu has hit back at Gerard Pique following claims from the ex-Barcelona player that Champions League titles mean more at Camp Nou and are forgotten at the Bernabeu.

Pique controversially claimed in an interview with RAC1 earlier this month that Barcelona’s approach means that successes are “remembered forever”, unlike – he claims – in Madrid.

The retired centre-back also described Madrid’s 2022 Champions League triumph as a “miracle” because of how they had to come from behind in every knockout round just to reach the final.

“I always say it though, our way of doing things [at Barcelona] and the demands we place on ourselves, when we win, we are remembered forever,” Pique said.

“When [Madrid] win, it is just another one. The last one [in 2022], which was a miracle because they were inferior in each round, and it won’t be remembered.”

Joselu, who wasn’t at Madrid at the time but has a long association with the club dating back to when he started his first spell as a teenager in 2009, didn’t taken kindly to those comments.


Joselu stood up for his club / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Speaking to El Partidazo de COPE while on international duty with Spain this week, the 33-year-old said: “If you don’t remember [2022], I don’t know which one you’re going to remember. Not only because of what happened in the previous games, but because of what happened in the final.

“It’s a title that will never be forgotten in life, not only because of the footballing aspect, which, football-wise, was crazy. Pique said it because he’s a Barcelona fan and he is envious.”

Madrid have won seven of their record 14 European Cup/Champions League in the first 23 years of the 21st century, dominating the competition more than any other, and are searching for number 15 this season. They have made a strong start and are into the knockout rounds with two games spare.

Barcelona have five titles to their name, all between 1992 and 2015. The Catalans have struggled in recent years, failing to win a knockout game since an infamous 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in 2020 and exiting at the group stage in each of the last two seasons. After defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday four, there is still some work to do to avoid that happening again.


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