Barca boss Xavi on Pique: He likes to be on people's lips, it's like a drug for him

Barcelona boss Xavi has admitted that Gerard Pique "likes to be on people's lips" after the audio leaks revealing his role in the deal that saw the Supercopa de Espana moved to Saudi Arabia.

Spanish outlet El Confidencial has published audio of Pique negotiating a €24 million commission with Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales when discussing the deal in 2019.

The defender's sports entertainment company, Kosmos, were behind the Super Cup switch to the Middle East, and reportedly recieve €4 million per tournament as a result of the six-year contract with Saudi Arabia.

What has Pique said?

Pique has also been heard trying to convince Rubiales to set up a meeting with Spain U21 boss Luis de la Fuente in a fresh audio leak, as he sought a place in the squad for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Rubiales denied any wrongdoing at a mid-week press conference, while Pique came out to defend himself on Twitch after their conversation about the Super Cup finances came to light.

"Everything we have done is legal, I'm going to expose my part in the conflict of interest, I want to show my face because I have nothing to hide. I am proud of what we do at Kosmos," said the 35-year-old.

"What is news is the audio leak itself, which has been illegally leaked. Not the information in it."

Xavi weighs in

Xavi believes Pique will be relishing the extra publicity he is receiving due to the controversy, which he has used as "fuel" throughout his career.

"He is outgoing and likes to be on people's lips," the Barca boss told reporters ahead of his side's La Liga clash with Real Sociedad. "I am more diplomatic. I know him. If he wasn't focused, I would warn him, but it (attention) gives him fuel. It's adrenaline for him. It's like a drug, in a good sense of the word. He's focused.

"Pique's Twitch didn't bother me, it [would] bother me if he didn't give it his all or didn't follow the rules. It's Gerard and I know him. I know how to manage him and he needs it. He's doing well to compete, he needs this stimulus."

Xavi was also asked if he thinks Pique and Rubiales are guilty of any wrongdoing, to which he replied: "It's very difficult, my opinion doesn't change anything. There are two people involved. I know Rubiales well, he's a noble guy.

"I trust his honesty. He must explain himself, and [so must] Pique. I think they looked for the good of the great majority. I want to think that. If it is ethical or not? There are opinions of all kinds."

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