Gerard Pique has slammed Sergio Ramos for using excessive aggression after revealing the Real Madrid defender left Lionel Messi bleeding from his mouth.
The Madrid captain, who has a villainous reputation, appeared to swing back his arm as he skipped past Messi, catching him in the face with his elbow during Saturday’s El Clasico.
An exasperated Messi responded by confronting Ramos and accusing him of purposely trying to cause him harm.
Pique was inclined to agree with his team-mate and criticised the controversial Madrid defender for the incident.
‘Leo had blood in his mouth. It was aggression,’ Pique said after Barcelona’s 1-0 win at the Bernabeu.
‘Intensity does not have to be measured. I get along great with the Real Madrid players.
‘But when you go out to the field you defend your colours and the rivalry is what you get.
‘But once the game is over, the cordiality is mutual, the players respect us very much.’
However, Ramos, who found himself in similar territory last year after being blamed for injuring Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final, insisted there was no intent on his behalf.
He told Movistar: ‘I didn’t mean to catch Messi, but he took it badly.’
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde said the Argentine forward would recover as they moved 12 points clear of their arch-rivals in the La Liga table.
Valverde said: ‘Messi is fine. He has had a great game and made a great effort.
‘He is an extraterrestrial in a way, because every time he takes the ball something extraordinary happens.’