Despite starring alongside each other in Spain's defense for the best part of eight years, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique probably won't be exchanging Christmas cards this year, and indeed likely haven't since 2010 (or ever, because they're not 87 years old).
Indy UK have put together a rather comprehensive summary of their perpetual spat here, but it came to the fore in spectacular fashion last night when Real Madrid captain Ramos was sent off for a dangerous lunge on Lionel Messi during Barcelona's sensational 3-2 El Clásico victory.
Gerard Pique - who it's fair to say is the instigator-in-chief of his ongoing feud with his Madridista counterpart due to his astonishing ability to wind Ramos up with cryptic tweets and such - had only midweek done similarly after Real Madrid's controversial victory over Bayern in the Champions League.
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) April 18, 2017
The timing of what the cool kids might describe as his 'indirect tweet' certainly wasn't lost on Ramos as he headed for the 22nd early bath of his career last night, with the 31-year-old turning back towards Pique and making a number of gestures which seemed to indicate he felt Pique was at least partially responsible for what he deemed an unjust red card.
Pique was more than forthcoming with his assessment of Ramos' challenge after Barcelona's victory, telling the Spanish media:
I am convinced he will realise it was a clear red card once he gets home and sees it again. He went into the tackle with both feet forward when Messi got away.
It was all very clear, he goes in there with his studs up and does not get the ball. There is no discussion about it.
Ramos has since responded to both Pique's antics and allegations that he sarcastically applauded the wonderfully named referee Hernandez Hernandez, which as Lionel Messi and Neymar have recently discovered at international and club level respectively, is a dangerous manoeuvre.
As was frankly patently obvious to most viewers, Ramos confirmed it was indeed his international teammate and arch nemesis Pique whom he was applauding, for what he perceived to be the latter's manipulation of Spanish match officials:
I did not applaud the referee when I walked off. I was talking to Pique, not to the referee.
Referees can be right and sometimes they are wrong. This one was decisive. But I was chatting to Pique, not the referee.
They (Barcelona) have a different understanding of the game and always talk about referees. But we will not talk about referees, that is not our style.
Pique always talks about referees. Maybe it is better to talk about the referee sometimes than to keep quiet, but I will not start any controversy.
I have no problem with Pique, but he might not get a hug after a Clásico like this.
The pair will likely line out alongside each other once more in June, when Spain host Colombia in a friendly before travelling to Macedonia for a World Cup qualifier.