After the midweek Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic in Bilbao, during which Barcelona were denied a penalty, Piqué insisted that Barcelona “know” what they’re up against. He was asked again on Sunday night. “I believe in what I said, and every week proves me right,” he replied, forgetting all those weeks that don’t. And so it began again, exclamation marks and paranoia littering the place like a Donald Trump tweet. “Hands up!” railed the front of El Mundo Deportivo. “The referee robbed another penalty!”
“Piqué challenged Tebas!” the cover of Sport shouted. Above it, in giant capital letters, the headline ran: “They deserved much more!” Maybe, but.
Tebas is the man who criticised Barcelona’s players’ behaviour at the Mestalla, who the club had formally complained about, and who Piqué says is against them – even though it is the federation, not the league, that is in charge of the referees, and no one hates Tebas like ángel María Villar, the federation president, hates Tebas.