Pique prepares for Barcelona v Madrid by training in clown outfit

Rebuilding his confidence, the Barcelona way

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Barcelona coach Xavi is making veteran defender Gerard Pique prepare for Sunday’s El Clásico by training in a clown outfit.

The 35-year-old Spanish international put in a disastrous showing in Barca’s 3-3 draw against Inter, and his new boss and former team-mate wants to make an example of him to the rest of the squad before the weekend’s trip to the capital to face Real Madrid.

Club insiders however, don’t seem that concerned, one confirmed to Paddy Power News that; “There’s no issue, this was a common occurrence during Guardiola’s time in charge and it’s something that has stayed with Xavi ever since.

“A few years ago, I remember Sergio Busquets having to run around La Masia with a string of lit firecrackers hanging out of his a*se as punishment for a particularly woeful display against Galatasaray.”

Pique has had a crap year so far, having split with long-time girlfriend Shakira in the summer after reports surfaced that he’d been “playing away from home,” his showing at the Camp Nou on Wednesday prompted hardcore Barca fans to flood phone-ins asking if his ex could replace him at centre-half against the old enemy.

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Friends close to the World Cup winner on the other hand, have been quick to play down this latest incident, one of them explaining to us that:

“Gerard is cool with having to dress as a clown. He actually enjoyed putting on his own make-up and wearing those giant boots that were three sizes too big. He’s been brought up the Barcelona way and was expecting some sort of retribution from the boss.”

“He was more than happy to throw rotten tomatoes at Carlos Puyol a few years ago when he f***ed up, so if you can’t take it then you shouldn’t dish it out.”

Just as we were going to print however, reports began to surface that Pique may have ballsed up again. Our sources in Catalonia telling us that:

“Pique was late to a tackle on Raphinha in training this morning, despite Xavi telling him to take those size 15 boots off. He clattered into him and he may now miss the trip to the Bernabeu.”

Pique apparently left training in a hurry without stopping to talk to reporters, before the car he was driving fell apart 200 metres down the road.

*Paddy Power’s breaking news coverage is just complete nonsense, every word of it. Honest.

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