Gerard Piqué has conceded he felt "inferior" to Real Madrid for the first time in his nine years stint as a Barcelona player, after they were beaten 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup. A 2-0 defeat at the Bernabéu on Wednesday night saw Barcelona humiliated by their adversaries, with Sergio Ramos twisting up Lionel Messi by tossing the ball over the Argentinian when he prepared his hands to collect it.
Sergio Ramos refuses to play ball with Lionel Messi. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images
The triumph implies Zinedine Zidane has won seven trophies in his 20 months responsible for Real Madrid. Objectives from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema sealed the most recent triumph, as Barcelona seemed to battle again without Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record charge earlier this month.
"This is a long process and there is opportunity to get better however in the nine years that I have been here, it is the first occasion when that I feel substandard compared to Madrid," Piqué said. "We are not in the best minute, either as a group or as a club. We should remain as close as possible and continue moving forward."
The news did not show signs of improvement for the Barcelona head coach, Ernesto Valverde, after the Uruguayan Football Association affirmed Luis Suárez will miss around a month with the right knee damage he sustained in Wednesday's thrashing. It implies Suárez will be inaccessible for the World Cup qualifiers against Argentina on 31 August and Paraguay on 5 September. "The time assessed by Barcelona for recovery is four to five weeks," said a Uruguay explanation.
Valverde, who replaced Luis Enrique as the Barcelona coach in May, is still new into his new employment however as of now the Spaniard has a noteworthy assignment staring him in the face. "When you lose and you have the inclination that the adversary has, in a few minutes, been something more, you need to analyze the technical aspects," the previous Athletic Bilbao chief said. We needed to win however it couldn't be. We need to recuperate psychologically. We need to adjust on the grounds that things have changed."
Then, Pep Segura, the Barcelona general chief, said he expected Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé to join the club from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, separately. "We are examining their arrangements however don't know when it will be done," he told the Catalan TV channel TV3. "We know we need to fortify this group and that is the thing that we are doing. We need to help the group."
One player Barcelona have signedas of now this late spring is the Brazilian midfielder Paulinho. The previous Tottenham player is joining for €40m (£36.4m) from the Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande and will be unveiled on Thursday.