Espanyol far above Pique 'nonsense', insists Rubi

Espanyol head coach Rubi was in no mood to discuss Gerard Pique's comments about the club ahead of Saturday's derby.

"As long as I'm the coach, things will be respectful," said Espanyol head coach Rubi.   -  Getty Images

Rubi said Espanyol is "far above this nonsense" in response to Barcelona defender Gerard Pique's claims he has more money than its budget for the season.

Pique stoked the fire ahead of Saturday's La Liga derby at Camp Nou after telling Movistar+ show 'La Resistencia': "I have more money than the budget of Espanyol this year. Nope, not just €57million, it's plenty more than that."  

Described as "light-hearted" by Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde, Espanyol said its values "cannot be measured in Euros" in a social media post on Friday.

READ | Valverde defends Pique over Espanyol comments

The post highlighted its values and referenced the tribute its supporters make in the 21st minute to former captain Daniel Jarque, who died of a heart attack in 2009 at the age of 26.  

The statement read: "Our fans. The team that gives their all every day. 119 years of history. The 21st minute. The academy. Respect for our rivals. A blue and white heart. These are our assets and values and they cannot be measured in euros."  

 

Espanyol boss Rubi was in no mood to discuss Pique heading into his team's showdown with the La Liga leader.

"It is my second press conference prior to a derby and in each one I've had to refer back to him," Rubi told reporters.  "I don't feel like answering. In our dressing room, we're very focused on Saturday's game, which we want to win.

"Like the club believes, some values are more important than economic ones, like humility. I haven't answered Pique.

"I feel like I'm at a club which is fantastic and where we have history and humility. As long as I'm the coach, things will be respectful. We have had five questions about Pique and I don't care for them.

"We're far above this nonsense. We have enough about us to be a great Espanyol who cause worry. All I care about is goals for Espanyol, although I don't care who scores, and yes I hope we're speaking in the plural about them."

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Pique's comments on Spanish television on Thursday even drew a response from LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

"Pique can be sarcastic at times, though there's a need to be careful with this sarcasm when talking about rivals," Tebas said. "In any case, he was wrong about the numbers. Espanyol have much greater wealth than he does, I'm sure.

"I think he has mixed up annual budget with the total budget of Espanyol. Maybe he needs to take a course in football finance."

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