Five consecutive wins have put Barca into second place in La Liga, ahead of Real
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique claims to have heard from a former referee that 85% of match officials in Spain have an affinity for Real Madrid and has suggested it would be impossible for them not to favour Los Blancos during games, even just subconsciously.
Pique, who has won La Liga eight times with Barcelona over the last 12 years, mused that if ever there is a 50/50 decision or a referee is unsure of something, that significant majority would be likely to give Real the benefit of any doubts.
“A former referee, I don’t remember who he was, said that 85% of the referees are fans of [Real] Madrid,” Pique said in an interview on YouTube channel Post United.
“It is a statistic you look at [and think], how can they not whistle in favour of Madrid? Unconsciously, but how are they not going to give more to one side than the other?
“I totally respect the professionalism of the referees. I know they try to do the best job possible, but when there is a moment of doubt…?”
Following a wretched start to the season, which at several points saw them fall into the bottom half of the table, Barcelona have rediscovered their form over the last six weeks.
Pique himself is injured but he has watched his teammates pick up 26 points from a possible 30 since the misery of losing to Cadiz almost two months ago.
Five consecutive wins have put Barca into second place in La Liga, ahead of Real, although Atletico Madrid have left both clubs in their wake this season and have opened up a 10-point lead.
It puts Diego Simeone’s side on course to win their first title since 2013/14 and it would be only the second time since 2004 that anyone other than Barca or Real has lifted the trophy.