PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Although beating Madrid has almost become routine in recent years, Gerard Piqué was as thrilled as ever last night. "It is very hard to win at the Bernabéu, even though you guys have got used to it ... it is much harder to win than you think". He is proud of the way the players deal with Madrid in these games. "We have implanted our style for several years and we always apply it. It doesn't matter where or who we play ... I'm proud and happy to belong to this team ... Very few teams can go to the Bernabéu and win like we have done. That makes us different".

Piqué is agrees with the rest of the squad, who believe that "when we are ourselves, there's no team that can stop us ... If we play like we are playing now, we can win titles, and be the best team in the world once again".

Pepe's stamp

Gerard Piqué didn't want to get dragged into the fuss about Pepe treading on Messi's hand, and merely stated that "everybody saw it and has spoken about it." He feels that there are other people who are responsible for judging these actions and "if they think that what happened went beyond what is permissible on the field of play, they have to do something. We at the club don't think we should go about demanding that a player from another club should be punished".

He was pleased to observe that although Messi was the victim of Pepe's action, he did not retaliate against the Portuguese international. "Leo is a very good person. We have got used to the way he reacts and saw how Leo stayed calm, which what he should do ... We should be thankful that he didn't react". Piqué still insisted that the Madrid players behaved impeccably, especially his colleagues from the Spanish national team.

Back to the league

But although "we impose our game in the games against Madrid", Piqué admitted that "the league is something very different." Barcelona are still five points adrift of the leaders and so at Malaga on Sunday "we can't afford to make any mistakes".

“Alexis has stolen our hearts”

Gerard Piqué was in great form in the Ciutat Esportiva pressroom, and a Chilean reporter asked him about Alexis Sánchez. "He gets 10 out of 10 as a person, he has adapted well to the squad, even though there are times that we can't understand him" he laughed. "But he does a lot for us on the pitch. We have signed a great player." The reporter continued to press him for a headline, and Piqué offered him one. "Alexis has stolen pour hearts" he said.