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The 25-year-old defender underlines the importance of getting off to a good start in the 2012-13 campaign by winning the Supercopa against Los Blancos later in August

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes that it will be neck-and-neck between his side and Real Madrid for the 2012-13 Liga title.

The Catalan giants finished second in the Spanish league last season after previously winning the competition for three years in a row, with Madrid setting a new record by amassing 100 points.

As Barca prepare to take on Los Blancos in the two-legged Spanish Supercopa, Pique spoke about the importance of winning the first official trophy of the season to boost his side's chances of usurping Jose Mourinho's men.

"Madrid are the current Primera Division champions and we will try to win the league and be champions again," the centre-back told reporters at a press conference.

"It is 50-50 right now, both teams are on equal ground.

"Winning the Supercopa would give us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. It is a special competition against a special rival and I am sure that it would be important to win it, but it is not like it is crucial. We know how strong Madrid are and that we can win or lose it."

The Blaugrana failed to defend their Liga and Champions League crowns in 2011-12, but Pique dismissed the notion that last season was a disappointment for the club.

"Last season was great, but it does not look like it because we did not win La Liga or the Champions League," the Spanish defender noted.

"We did not have that tiny bit of luck which makes you win titles in the matches against Chelsea and Madrid.

"We will have to continue with the same philosophy, and the titles will come."

Pique then commented on Spain's surprise elimination at the Olympic Games after losing their first two group matches in London.

"That just shows how hard football is and that you can always lose even if you are paired with teams who look easy on paper," he observed.

"It is not the pressure of winning another tournament, but rather that they had a bad match and then against Honduras they had 15 chances on goal but could not score.

"They had the quality to take the gold medal. It is an example to take about how hard it is to beat any opponent."