I am not appreciated enough

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes that his contribution to the team is often undervalued after a difficult start to the season, Goal reports.

The Spain international started Saturday’s match against Athletic Bilbao on the bench and was recently left out of the Spain squad, having been a mainstay in Vicente del Bosque’s first team in recent years.

However, he believes that he deserves more credit for how he has developed during his time at Camp Nou after having his performances roundly criticised.

“I feel that, for a while, I have not been valued for what I have done sportingly,” he told reporters.

“I have been learning more and more every year. The years remaining in my career will be the same. I say that calmly because I work hard every year.

“I always try to do the best I possibly can. I am happy with the level I have shown in the minutes I have played. I can’t do anything about public opinion.”

Pique also insisted that his team-mates can always rely on Lionel Messi and Neymar, who combined to see off Athletic on Saturday late on, the Argentine setting up the Brazilian for both goals in a 2-0 win.

“Messi and Neymar are as good as ever. This season, they both have a lot of quality and when they connect it’s amazing,” he added.

“They are two of the best in the world and they play together.”

Barcelona have collected nine points from their opening three games in La Liga and already hold a six-point advantage over arch-rivals Real Madrid. Nevertheless, Pique has insisted that Madrid cannot be written off just yet.

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