Spain's Gerard Pique has come to the defence of Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi after the Argentina star received a four-match ban from international football.
Messi was controversially suspended just hours before La Albiceleste's World Cup qualifier away to Bolivia on Tuesday as a result of insults allegedly aimed by the forward towards a linesman during last week's win over Chile.
In the absence of their talisman, Edgardo Bauza's team lost 2-0 in La Paz, leaving them fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying and facing the prospect of needing to win an inter-confederation play-off if they are to reach next year's finals in Russia.
Speaking to the media after Spain's 2-0 friendly victory over France in Paris, centre-back Pique took aim at the seemingly draconian punishment.
"I am not the person to discuss a decision of FIFA, but it seems an outrage to me that they have given Messi four matches," Pique said.
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.