Gerard Pique defends VAR after serious criticism

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Gerard Pique

It was a favourable night of football for Barcelona as they watched their closest title contenders Atletico Madrid and Sevilla drop points and rivals Real Madrid lose 2-0 to Real Sociedad at home.

However, the night was marred by some controversial decisions. Getafe were denied a clear goal against Barcelona for a perceived foul on Clement Lenglet.

There was heavy criticism of VAR on Sunday night, given Madrid too had certain decisions go against them.

However, Gerard Pique believes that the fault lies in the mindset of the people who like to criticise everything and not VAR in itself.

“When there was no VAR it was because there was no VAR,” the defender said after the game.

“When there is, it’s because there is.

“I’ve already said it, but in this country, we love controversy and that is why there are programs that live off of controversy, it’s cultural.

“VAR helps the referee and that is the important thing.”

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Munir El Haddadi's agent slams Barcelona board and coach Ernesto Valverde

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Munir El Haddadi

Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi’s agent Francisco Valdivieso has criticised coach Ernesto Valverde and the Barcelona board for not providing Munir with what was promised to the youngster.

The 23-year-old – who was sent on loan to Valencia and Alaves in the last two seasons – has struggled to find game time this season under the Basque coach.

“Before the game against Celta Vigo, Munir got a surprise from his coach,” Valdivieso told beIN Sports.

“Having told the board that he might not renew, the coach then explained to him that he has to accommodate other players, even some from the academy, in the rotation.

“That week he also told him that he will not be included in a squad list until he decides to renew.

“Munir sees that so many promises on the part of the sporting department, and even from the coach, have not materialised on the pitch.

“He sees that he is a player they don’t take into account.”

The agent mentioned that there is no agreement with any club but there are clubs that are trying to acquire his signature.

“He is committed and knows that he has a contract with the club until June, one that he has to respect.

“There is no agreement [with any team], but there are many teams interested in him.”

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Barcelona confirm signing of Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo

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Jean-Clair Todibo.

Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo on a free transfer, though the 19-year-old will only move after the end of the season.

Todibo, whose contract at the Ligue 1 club expires at the end of this season, was being monitored by Manchester City and Juventus as well, but Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal was reportedly instrumental in convincing his fellow Frenchman to choose the Catalan club instead.

The youngster is the second defensive signing Barcelona have made during this window, after bringing in Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia, with an option to make that move a permanent one in the summer.

Todibo only made his debut for Toulouse this season, and has made 10 first-team appearances so far.

Barcelona have been facing somewhat of a defensive crisis thanks to injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen, leaving Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet as the only fit first-team defenders before Murillo’s arrival.

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