• Barca’s Pique unrepentant over Twitter row

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    YOKOHAMA, Japan: Barcelona defender Gerard Pique on Wednesday refused to apologize for igniting a Twitter row with Real Madrid rivals Alvaro Arbeloa and Sergio Ramos. No stranger to public spats with Real players, Pique incurred the wrath of his Spain teammates by calling Arbeloa “an acquaintance,” making clear reference to the term “cono”—referencing a traffic cone—an apparent dig at the full-back’s mobility. Despite flying 10,700 kilometers (6,600 miles) to contest the Club World Cup in Japan, Pique was immediately quizzed about the spat by Spanish journalists on the eve of Barca’s semifinals against China’s Guangzhou Evergrande. “That’s not a question about sport,” he said with a sheepish grin. “Look, I said (Arbeloa) wasn’t a friend. Make of it what you want. I don’t have anything to add.” A war of words erupted after Pique recently posted a tweet appearing to mock Real’s recent expulsion from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player, prompting Arbeloa to accuse him of being obsessed with Real.

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