Speaking at a press conference ahead of their trip to the Vicente CalderA?n, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique slammed Spanish fans who booed defender Gerard Piqu during Spaina s Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovakia in Oviedo.

Piqu earned the wrath of a section of fans in Oviedo following the jibes he directed against Barcelonaa s long standing rivals Real Madrid and claiming that he “always wanted them [Real Madrid] to lose.”

Following his statements directed at Real Madrid, Spaina s stand in captain and fellow central defender Sergio Ramos came out and reprimanded Pique for his outburst.

Piqu Boo Boys a pathetica

Asked about the Gerard Pique situation in his press conference, Enrique quickly moved to defend the central defender, he said: a Pique is splendid, very sincere and very original. What he said was funny.”

“I don’t know why he is booed, and that is a question to ask the people that do so.

“Do I always want Real Madrid to lose too? Piqu is an honest guy.

“We need this rivalry between our clubs. Guti said the same back in the day.

“But I believe it’s pathetic to whistle a player of the national team because it affects his teammates.

“It’s comical that, in this country, things like this happen.”

Enrique expects a tough game against a title contendersa Atletico

Barcelona travel to the Vicente CalderA?n to take on Atletico in a top of the table clash that could eventually determine the destination of the 2015-16 La Liga crown. The Blaugrana had clinched the trophy at the same venue on the penultimate weekend of last season after a magical solo effort from Lionel Messi gave them a 1-0 victory over the Los Rojiblancos.

“I expect a tough game regardless of the break”, said Enrique.

“You either up your game against opponents of their calibre or you’re in trouble.

Matches against Atl tico are always hard-fought and with tight scorelines.

Atl tico are title contenders and have strengthened their squad well. That’s an added incentive for us.

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“The visit [to Madrid] in itself presents certain difficulties. If we don’t play a good match, Atl tico will hurt us.

“The [international] hiatus is not an excuse, neither for us nor for our rivals.

“Atl tico also released a lot of players for international duty. We’ll see who’s affected more by that, but we’re ready and very used to this sort of thing”.

“We’re going there convinced we can win.a