Barcelona's Gerard Pique has attempted to make peace with Real Madrid counterpart Alvaro Arbeloa following an ill-tempered exchange on social media between the two players.
The long-serving right-back's career at Real is coming to an end at the end of the season and Barca's centre-back felt that it was the appropriate time to put the feud to rest.
"If they have said goodbye to him this way, it’s because he has earned it,” Pique is quoted as saying by AS, referring to the fans' magnificent sendoff of the player, after Los Blancos' 3 – 2 victory over Valencia on Sunday. "I wish him the best wherever he goes."
That victory over Los Che means that Zinedine Zidane's side are within touching distance of their arch-rivals. And any points dropped by the Catalan club on the final matchday next weekend could mean a dramatic turnaround in the Primera Division title race.
Pique continued with his apology to his Spain international teammate, paying his respects to Arbeloa's successful career.
“Sometimes the tone [of their Twitter messages] has been too much and we shouldn’t have done it," Pique said after Barca's 5 – 0 thrashing of cross-city rivals Espanyol. "He’s had a great career with great titles, especially the World Cup, and wherever he goes, I wish him all the best."
In a separate interview, Arbeloa thanked the Madrid faithful for their support, and says that he will soon join their ranks as a spectator. “It’s over, it’s been amazing," AS reports him as saying. "I thank all the people. I don’t know how to express the gratitude for these years. I’m one of them now. I’ll sit where they are, I thank them all."