News Update :

Pique backs Drogba on diving

24 Apr 2012

koclokindoblog, 24 April 2012, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has backed Didier Drogba amidst accusations the Chelsea forward is a diver.

Drogba was criticised for going to ground too easily in last week's Champions League semi-final first-leg clash at Stamford Bridge but Pique defended the Ivorian, who scored the decisive goal in Chelsea's 1-0 win.

"I don't think we should criticise him," Pique said.

"If he keeps doing it then we'll see, but I believe in Drogba and in his honesty.

"I have dealt with him on many occasions, he is one of the best players I've seen.

"He is very complete and has been competing at the highest level for many years. I think it will be a very difficult duel - if I'm on the field, of course."

Pique has been in and out of the Barcelona line-up in recent weeks and was dropped to the bench for Saturday's devastating 2-1 El Clasico loss to Real Madrid.

Speaking on the eve of Barcelona's crunch Champions League semi-final second-leg at Camp Nou, Pique insisted the Catalan outfit are not a one-man side despite losing the last two games in which Lionel Messi has failed to score.

The Argentine netted a brace in Barcelona's La Liga win over Levante on April 14 but was goalless against Chelsea and Real Madrid.

"Rival teams know about our strike force," Pique said.

"Messi helps us a lot but this is a team and we have other players who can score and decide a game. I don't believe in a Messi-dependency."

Pique rubbished suggestions he has fallen out with Pep Guardiola, and revealed that he desperately wants the Barcelona boss to remain at Camp Nou beyond the end of the season.

Guardiola is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to give any indication as to whether he will sign a new deal with the Catalans.

"I would put my hand in the fire for Pep to stay on," Pique said.

"Even though some people doubt it, my relationship with Guardiola is fantastic. We talk a lot more than people think.

"Being on the bench is a new experience for me, but it's the boss' decision and I have to respect it.

"And I'm confident that Guardiola will continue (with Barca) because he loves this club and this job."

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