Gerard Pique has admitted he feels his side are inferior to Real Madrid for the first time in his nine-year Barcelona career.
Barcelona were put to the sword over two legs of the Spanish Super Cup, losing 5-1 on aggregate to Madrid.
In quotes published on Football Espana following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat in the second leg, Pique expressed his frustration with his club’s current situation.
The suspended Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t needed, nor even worthy of mention in the end, as Real Madrid saw off their arch rivals easily, doing so without several key players in a match which will leave Ernesto Valverde along with the Barcelona board, players and fans, worried about what they can realistically hope to achieve this season.
Real Madrid are an absolute monster under Zidane and rested Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Isco for this second leg – the latter was the best player on the pitch at the Nou Camp – and Barcelona had no answer to their quick passing, high tempo pressing and slick movement.
“We’re not having our best time as a team or a club,” Pique said.
“We should be as close to each other as possible and paddle forward.
“We must live with this defeat and accept that Madrid are better than us. The season’s very long and there’s room for improvement.
“Still, in the nine years I’ve been here, it’s the first time I feel inferior to Madrid.”
Barcelona look to move past their Super Cup defeat when they open their La Liga campaign Sunday against Real Betis.
Culled from Goal