Gerard Piqué has been the topic of plenty of hot takes lately. The Barcelona center-back was the target of heavy boos from the Spanish fans in national team games last week, mainly because of his personality and how he approaches the rivalry between the Blaugrana and Real Madrid.
Spain teammate and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos threw fuel in the fire by saying Piqué hasn't helped himself and contributed to the negative response from the crowds. All of that is pure nonsense, but Piqué decided to talk about the issue and end all of the controversy about his place in the national team and the rivalry.
Talking to the press on a Thursday conference, Barça's star defender came clean and sincere about the Barça-Madrid rivalry, the national team whistles, and said he'll remain the same person and player.
On the Barça–Madrid rivalry:
"I think the booing has to do with the rivalry and my comments on our rivals. I'm not going to change. That's the way I am. To those who accept me, great. And for those who don't, also great." "I never wanted to disrespect anyone. That thing I said at the celebration was a joke, only made by Piqué."
"I don't regret anything. I would do it again a thousand times. That's the way I am. I always want Madrid to lose; that's rivalry we've always had."
"But the rivalry doesn't prevent me from having good relationship with Madrid. For example, I have a fantastic relationship with Iker Casillas. In the dressing room we're a unit and I want people to understand that."
"I've never had a better relationship with Sergio Ramos. At first it was a little cold and it's gotten better, I feel very comfortable being with him and playing with him."
On the Spain national team:
"I'm fully committed to the Spanish national team. It hurts that people doubt that. After two trebles and a sextuple, I don't play for prestige or money. I play because I think it's the right thing to do. And as long as the coach continues to have confidence in me, I'll keep playing."
"The situation hasn't affected me personally so much, but more for the team, the coach and my teammates. People have every right in the world to express themselves. I'll try to get them to change [by playing well]. That's the situation we have to face up to it."
"I'm out here addressing it because I would like to diffuse the tension. We have to remain united. I will give it my all."
It's so rare to see a truly honest footballer, and it's great to see a guy like that in our team. Keep doing you, Piqué. We love you.