Barcelona defender Gerard Pique struck another verbal blow at sparring partner and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
"It is clear that there is not that same tension [towards Barcelona] that Mourinho had last season," Pique told Catalunya Radio. "Mourinho has realized that there is no need to look at Barcelona because you will not find any problems. Additionally, now it seems that he is looking for it in his own house."
Pique went on to say the race for the league title is very much open despite Barca's lead.
"The truth is that we expect a very good year, with many challenges and emotions," he said. "The league is not won, it is true, but no one imagined a start so good Do not forget that in my first year we had 12 points and had to go to the Bernabeu to win the league."
Pique also praised Tito Vilanova for the way he has handled the club since taking over for Pep Guardiola.
"He has won over the dressing room," Pique said. "He has something special. We anticipate some great years with him at the helm."
A foot injury has sidelined Pique for Spain's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Belarus, but he expects to return for Barcelona's Oct. 20 match against Deportivo La Coruna.
"The injury is fine and I will be back against Depor," he said.
- Besides being one of the most successful managers, Jose Mourinho is also known for his outsbursts, controversial statements about other managers, and occasional violent actions. Here are some of those moments: Photo: Especial Terra
- The most recent case with Brazilian midfielder Kaka, who has already declared war on Real Madrid, because he was kept off the first team squad. The feud has reached the point that the Brazilian categorizes Mourinho as "a bad person". Photo: AP
- Another of the most memorable outbursts was against Tito Vilanova, current coach of Barcelona, who Mourinho stuck a finger in the eye of during the final of the Supercopa of Spain, when Vilanova was assistant to Pep Guardiola. Vilanova forgave him, but the ex-Catalan president, Joan Laporta, considereded him a traitor for having attacked from behind. Photo: Reproducción
- But Mourinho's controversial statements are nothing new, as demonstrated when his resume was criticized and he said, 'I have no resume? Who won the Champions League? It was me (with Porto). I am The Special One.' Photo: Getty Images
- In 2006, when Mourinho was the manager at Chelsea, he said that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was too concerned with Chelsea. 'I think Wenger is a voyeur, he only talks about Chelsea,' Mourinho said. Photo: Getty Images
- Mourinho also said that Manchester United benefitted vfrom arbitration. Ferguson responded: 'I think Mourinho should sew his mouth shut.' The two later made peace. Photo: Getty Images
- Another manager Mourinho had problems with was Rafa Benitez, who when he succeeded him at Inter, the Portuguese said: 'I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him,' referring to the Champions League. Photo: Getty Images
- As the manager at Real Madrid, he accused Sporting Gijon of losing a match purposely to Barcelona. Gijón's manager, Manolo Preciado (pictured), said that Mourinho was a scoundrel and a bad person.' Photo: Getty Images
- Mourinho's also had problems with the Barcelona players. When coaching at Chelsea, he gave Carles Puyol a 'friendly' slap in the face. Photo: Getty Images
- Of course, Pep guardiola has also been a target of Mourinho's comments. When Barca won its first Champions League title under Pep Guardiola, Mourinho credited the referees, saying, 'He won a Champions League title I would have been ashamed to win.' Photo: Getty Images