Gerard Pique has dismissed claims of a rift between himself and his Spain defensive partner Sergio Ramos.
Pique and Ramos have been fierce rivals at club level, with Pique in the colours of Barcelona and Ramos at Real Madrid. There is no love lost between the two clubs and Spain’s build-up to Euro 2012 was dogged by talk of infighting in the camp.
There has been no evidence of that on the pitch as Spain have made their way to the last four and Pique claims he and Ramos have forged a fine understanding at the heart of Vicente Del Bosque’s defence.
"Before the tournament there was a lot of talk about how Sergio and I had hardly ever played together and how, perhaps, we didn't have a very good relationship," Pique told UEFA.com. "However, game by game we've shown that's not true and in the meanwhile we've got to know each other's games better.
“The fact that the only effort on goal France had against us in the quarter-final came from a free-kick shows that we've got it together defensively. We're providing a secure platform so the rest of the side can push forward and attack with confidence."
Spain face Portugal for a place in the final of Euro 2012 and Pique is aware of the need to keep tabs on Cristiano Ronaldo.
He said: “The entire defence has to help each other defend against him. If one of us in particular is covering Ronaldo and watching where he's attempting to go then that guy must not give him space or time to think because then you are dead. Really you have to be right next to him all the time and the most important thing is that he must not be allowed to turn because if he does that and starts to run then it's really difficult to stop him."