Barcelona's centre-back Gerard Piqué defended the role of the club's youth system in interviews with 'Mundo Deportivo' and 'RAC1'. Without it, he believes, they wouldn't be able to compete with Real Madrid. He also talked about the Ballon d'Or, referring to Cristiano Ronaldo's words published by France Football, and gave his opinion about David Navarro's controversial elbow to the Portuguese's face.
On 'RAC1' he dealt with the matter of youth academies, much talked-about of late: "All of us academy players were lucky enough to come through together. It'll always be difficult for Barça to compete with Madrid. In the last few years... how much has the Madrid team been worth? At Barça many of the players who are in the backbone have come for free. If it hadn't been like that, we wouldn't be competing for all the titles. Guardiola knew that La Masia gives us everything and now with Tito we have another Pep. On an economic level, we can't compete with Madrid in terms of what they generate."
On his future: "Before being a coach I'd like to be president. I like to see things with more perspective. I've always been interested in business and I have strong ties to this club."
The Messi and Cristiano rivalry: "Messi is from outer space and Cristiano is the best of the humans. Messi is the best. We have to make the most of him and adapt ourselves to situations to get the best team performances.
In 'Mundo Deportivo', talking about the Ballon d'Or: "I wouldn't vote for myself because I don't think I was the best" said the Barcelona defender. He added that he is "an unconditional Leo fan." "He stole my heart away when I met him when I was 14 and I haven't seen anything better. Going for anyone else who isn't Leo would be tough."
On the amount of goals Barça are letting in: "It's true that the team is conceding more and it's something to look at. I think we need to improve in defence but we're also scoring more. And you can't have it all in this world. If you attack more you risk more."
Finally he referred to the Levante player David Navarro and his foul on Cristiano Ronaldo: "I don't know what happened and I don't want to get involved. These things have happened many times before and people know what the players are like. In the end, when you've had a career of many years it can happen once or twice, but not so many times. I don't know anything at all about what happened at Levante and in this case I can't give my opinion, but it's true that it's always the same people involved and from here on I think it'd be good if something was done. I don't know what, because I'm not on the committee nor am I responsible for making these kinds of decisions. But when it happens so many times you have to do something."