Gerard Pique defends Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli

Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the opener on December 8, 2012
© PA Photos
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique defends Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, insisting that the media has created their persona.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has defended former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

Both Ibrahimovic and Balotelli have been the subject of many off-field reports, but Pique insists that the media has created their 'bad boy' persona.

"I know that Ibrahimovic and Balotelli are nice boys and are fun to chat and play with," Pique told Sky Sport 24.

"The media often creates characters which don't exist. When Ibra was here at Barcelona, he proved to be a good person and a player to be admired.

"Of course, the relationship between the player and the coach [Pep Guardiola] was always complicated. Footballers want to play all the time and when they don't get their wish, that's when problems arise."

Since making his debut in 2009, Pique has earned 49 caps for Spain.

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