Barca's Pique 'bang average', Madrid captain Ramos world's best defender – Ruggeri

By Sports Desk August 04, 2020

Former Real Madrid defender Oscar Ruggeri labelled Barcelona star Gerard Pique a "bang-average" player, while insisting Sergio Ramos is the best centre-back in the world.

Pique has enjoyed great success since re-joining boyhood club Barca from Manchester United in 2008, winning eight LaLiga trophies and three Champions League titles among other honours to establish himself as one of the world's best defenders.

The 33-year-old is also a World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain.

However, ex-defender Ruggeri – a 1986 World Cup champion with Argentina who spent a season playing for Madrid in 1989-90 – talked down Pique as he hailed Los Blancos and Spain captain Ramos.

"Pique is a second-rate [player], like me, like many others," Ruggeri told FOX Sports Argentina.

"He's good looking, he's with the singer [Shakira]... he has a cool beard, but if he played for Valencia, he wouldn't be well known.

"Pique ended up playing for Barcelona. He's like me – bang average. A good defender, but not much else.

"He doesn't get put under pressure, except against the big teams.

"Sergio Ramos is the best [centre-back] in the world, by far."

Related items

  • Barcelona still have a squad capable of challenging – Zidane Barcelona still have a squad capable of challenging – Zidane

    Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes Barcelona have a squad that is capable of "fighting for everything".

    After a trophy-less 2019-20 season, Ronald Koeman is rebuilding the Blaugrana, who have seen the likes of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur and Nelson Semedo leave.

    Philippe Coutinho has returned from his loan spell at Bayern Munich and Miralem Pjanic joined from Juventus, while Lionel Messi ended up staying after requesting a move.

    Zidane, whose Madrid visit Real Betis on Saturday, said Barca were strong enough to again be challenging for titles.

    "I will be respectful. Besides, I don't know what's going on inside, that's why I don't want to get involved," the Madrid coach told a news conference.

    "I think each club has their own issues and difficulties. I think Barcelona, in terms of the team and the squad, is a club who will be fighting for everything.

    "I don't have any doubt."

    Madrid have also seen some changes to their squad, most notably the departures of Gareth Bale (on loan to Tottenham) and James Rodriguez (Everton).

    Bale's relationship with Zidane reportedly deteriorated in recent months, although the Welshman told Sky Sports on Friday he had "no regrets".

    Asked if he had anything to say about Bale, Zidane said: "I'm not going to speak about what Gareth said.

    "Against, what I will say is that we wish him the best for the future and we are focused on ourselves now. That's all."

  • Messi knows me well – Suarez proud after Barcelona star's backing Messi knows me well – Suarez proud after Barcelona star's backing

    Luis Suarez said he was proud after being defended by Lionel Messi following his move to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona.

    Suarez, 33, joined Atletico in a €6million move this week after six trophy-laden seasons at Camp Nou.

    His close friend and Barcelona star Messi slammed the Catalan giants on Friday, saying Suarez was "kicked out" and "nothing surprises" him anymore.

    Suarez, who won 13 trophies at Barca, said he was proud to have left such a positive impression.

    "Leo knows me well and is well aware of my level of conviction. It's a source of pride to be able to leave a positive legacy behind me," he told reporters.

    "I've now moved on and joining this competitive side is a major motivation."

    Suarez scored 21 goals in 36 games last season, but new Barca coach Ronald Koeman had no room for the Uruguayan as he rebuilds the Blaugrana.

    The forward said joining another big club in Spain was a huge motivation for him.

    "The motivation of coming to a great from Spain, Atleti is," Suarez said. 

    "It has great players, a competitive block that always fights to be at the top and for the league. 

    "The fans and the coach [Diego Simeone] motivate a lot too."

    Atletico begin their 2020-21 season at home to Granada on Sunday.

  • ‘No heroes in this case’- former T&T footballer Nakhid insists plenty of blame to go around following TTFA suspension ‘No heroes in this case’- former T&T footballer Nakhid insists plenty of blame to go around following TTFA suspension

    Following the avalanche of blame that has tumbled on embattled TTFA president William Wallace, in light of FIFA’s ruling to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from world football indefinitely, former national footballer, David Nakhid, insists there are multiple ‘villains’ involved in the case.

    Nakhid was quick to point out that he has no sympathy for Wallace because the deposed official “did several things subsequent to his appointment without consulting the board.”

     “A situation like this calls for compromise, it calls for mediation, it calls for some level of consultation between parties and we never had that,” Nakhid said in an interview with the SportsMax Zone.

    “What we had was a lot of hotspot meetings and disjointed efforts by parties here and parties there,” he added.  In the mind of the former Soca Warriors captain, however, Wallace was far from the only one deserving of criticism. 

    As such, he also turned his attention to the world governing body FIFA, for whom he had some particularly strong words.  He accused the global football organisation of being ‘hypocrites’ and seeing the Caribbean region as just part of a voting bloc and not much else.

    “FIFA has always been an organisation that has the Caribbean and by extension Latin America as just a voting bloc.  Basically, we are still indentured labourers to them," he said.

    The former Caribbean Footballer of the Year was also critical of leaders of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), past and present, who he accused of leaving no legacy for the Caribbean and ensuring that the region did not have a genuine voice on the world stage.

     Nakhid launched a longshot bid for the FIFA presidency in 2015 but was disqualified from the race after receiving a double nomination.  At the time, his proposed candidacy never received wide support across the Caribbean, garnering a total of five votes.

    On Thursday, FIFA suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) for its failure to withdraw a case that is currently before the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, within the prescribed timeframe that came after a previous extension.  The ruling will see the twin-island republic immediately deprived of all its rights as a member of FIFA, which comes with other consequences.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.