'Great atmopshere between Ramos and Pique' - Busquets on Spain's happy camp

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets insists there is no feud between Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos once the defensive duo join up for international duty with Spain.

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Real Madrid captain Ramos and Barcelona's Pique are Spain's long-standing centre-back partnership but have frequently clashed publically as proud performers on either side of El Clasico's divide.

Sniping over refereeing decisions, with each believing the other's side is the beneficiary of favourable treatment, has dominated their discourse over recent months.

Despite this, Ramos pledged to give Pique a hug once Julen Lopetegui's squad came together for Friday's World Cup qualifier against Israel and Busquets reported a positive feel in the camp.

"They are many years with the national team, Ramos and Pique and the atmosphere is good," he told El Partidazo. "The good vibe is magnificent.

"Here, Sergio is the captain and has more hierarchy and, at Barca, Gerard has more of a leadership role."

Sergio Ramos Gerard Pique Barcelona Real Madrid Clasico

Ramos' most recent barbin Barcelona's direction came when he referred to their stunning 6-1 win over PSG to overturn a 4-0 first-leg Champions League deficit as "historic in every way" – the Catalan club having benefitted from two second-half penalties.

Busquets believes such flashpoints are part and parcel of one of football's most historic club rivalries and has no bearing on Spain.

"There has to be everything, but above all respect," he said. "Sometimes you cross the barrier of respect for many things - because you do not want to let the rival be, for being the eternal rival.

"Let them say what they want. I'm not going to get into that war.

"There are times when you think about one thing, you can say another and between us, once we come here, we talk about football. We do not give it much more thought."

After hosting Israel at El Molinon, Spain travel to France for a friendly – returning to the country where Vicente del Bosque's decorated reign came to an end.

Defeat in the last-16 of Euro 2016 to Italy paved the way for Lopetegui to take over and Busquets is enjoying life under the former Porto boss.

"It's the same idea with the same system. Maybe Lopetegui wants to keep the team closer together, with more pressure, but I think it's pretty similar," he added.

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"With Vicente we achieve a lot, although in the end there was the bitter taste of the last World Cup and Euro 2016.

"We have to look to the future and we are very excited about Lopetegui, with what has been seen in these first matches, and we are immersed in a qualifying group that will not be easy."

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