Gerard Pique was snubbed by Real stars on Spain duty after Mourinho antics

Gerard Pique has admitted that his own team-mates on international duty snubbed him ahead of a major tournament.

The Barcelona legend spoke to Gary Neville on The Overlap about the height of the El Clasico rivalry, conceding that the feud became so great that there was a split in the Spain national side dressing room. And the defender said that a lot of it was down to one Jose Mourinho, who was manager of Real Madrid at the time.

Pique explained to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville how Spain’s squad cohesion was going into Euro 2012. “Since he arrived, he knew that on the pitch they were weaker than us. We had a better team for sure, and even the relationships between players.

"I remember going to the national team and after those games. It was tough because Mourinho goes to the mind of the player and he says ‘these guys hate you’, then you believe that. I was in the dressing room of the national team and went to Iker Casillas. 'hey Iker', and the guy did not talk to me.

"At that time I did not know, but it was the coach he really knows how to go into the mind."

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At the time Pep Guardiola had won three consecutive La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues. Mourinho, meanwhile, joined up with the Spanish giants Real in 2010 and was able to win the league title two years later, beating the Catalans by nine points.

Guardiola had a burnout and decided to take a year off after Mourinho’s win. And Pique said he thought that the current Manchester City boss focused too much on the antics of the Portuguese.

"We were winning everything at the time and I remember the first time Mourinho came to the Camp Nou he lost 5-0 against us," Pique continued.

"It was a shock of reality of 'woah, these guys go hard'. Mourinho in the press conference, he was every day… you know his style. I think Guardiola at some point, it was too much. It was more important what was happening off the pitch instead of on it.

"I remember at the end of the day, Guardiola left, Mourinho had won the league that year, and all of a sudden he decided to leave. I'm sure part of it is, with Mourinho, it was too much."

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