Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes Iker Casillas is the standard at Real Madrid and has been the best goalkeeper in the world for many years.
Pique is currently with the Spanish national team at Las Rozas as they prepare for their upcoming EURO 2016 qualifier against Ukraine.
Speaking to the radio program El Larguero, the Barcelona centre-back heaped praise on Casillas, who has been criticized heavily by a section of fans and the Spanish press in recent weeks.
“To understand the whistles at the Santiago Bernabeu I guess you’d have to be there,” Pique said in response to the treatment Casillas has received of late.
“If I was a fan of Real Madrid, Casillas would be my idol, my standard, an example of Real Madrid.
“He has been the best goalkeeper in the world for many years.”
Pique and Casillas have lifted the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 trophy together as members of the Spanish national team.
The 28-year-old defender has enjoyed a solid season with Barcelona. His standout performances against Manchester City and Real Madrid in recent weeks have shown many of his doubters that he is still one of the best centre-backs in Europe.
Pique admitted the fact that he is getting older has changed his perception of life and has led to a better approach at things.
“I’m at a good level but above everything else the team is competing, we are at a very good level,” Pique added.
“Experience helps you slow down a little. Now I enjoy being much more private, not always in the media, not giving too many interviews. I’m looking for more privacy, in a quiet room with my family at home.”
Programming note: The Euro 2016 qualifier between Spain and Ukraine will be shown LIVE on Friday at 3:30pm on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
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