Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has hit out at the fans who whistled Gerard Pique during Spain's 2-0 Euro 2016 qualification win over Slovakia at the weekend.
The defender has become a controversial figure in Spanish football following his provocative behaviour toward Real Madrid and his opinions about Catalonia.
Nevertheless, Luis Enrique has insisted that it is in no way beneficial to the national team to jeer a player, regardless of his political stance and comments about other clubs.
"Personally, I think it’s pathetic to whistle players who play for the national team," Luis Enrique stated at a press conference.
"That sort of behaviour is in no way beneficial to the team. I think it is comical that this is happening."
Pique further enraged Real Madrid fans on Thursday when he stated that he always wants the Santiago Bernabeu side to lose, but Luis Enrique feels there is nothing wrong with the centre-back's comments and feels it is only normal that there is a rivalry between the teams.
"Gerard is a very sincere and honest man. He makes honest comments and is a funny guy," added the Barca boss.
"We all know there is a rivalry between both teams. I remember [former Madrid midfielder] Guti once saying he always wants Barcelona to lose. That’s normal.
"There is already enough hypocrisy in the world. We need rivalry in football."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.