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The dug-out

Returning to Barcelona after eight years at Arsenal has thrown up new challenges for Cesc Fabregas and the Spain midfielder said putting up with prankster Gerard Pique

Written by Reuters | Published: June 14, 2012 1:53:34 am

Cesc’s occupational hazard — Pique

Returning to Barcelona after eight years at Arsenal has thrown up new challenges for Cesc Fabregas and the Spain midfielder said putting up with prankster Gerard Pique on a daily basis has been one of them. Fabregas and Pique came through Barca’s youth academy together before heading to Arsenal and Manchester United respectively and the pair are now key members of the successful Barca and Spain squads.

An avid user of Twitter to showcase his quirky sense of humour,Pique has a reputation as the clown in the dressing room. His favourite trick is hiding his team mates’ belongings and he once caused Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes to be fined by the club for arriving late at a training session because he could not find his gloves.

Pique was up to his usual antics at Euro 2012 when he ran around the pitch at a training session with only one boot on and Fabregas joked that it had taken time to get used to him again.

Off the ball

Only constant is… boos

Win,lose or draw at Euro 2012,the one thing the Czech Republic soccer team can count on is jeers and whistles from a section of fans who never seem satisfied with the players’ performance. Although the unhappy supporters are targeting goal-shy striker Milan Baros and coach Michal Bilek,the players say the cat-calls affect them all. The whistles and shouts came through loud and clear both in the Czech’s opening 4-1 loss to Russia and in their 2-1 win over Greece.

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