Gerard Pique has dismissed suggestions that his relationship with Spanish defensive partner Sergio Ramos has shattered amid the Catalonia independence crisis.
The Barcelona centre-back was rumoured to have suffered a huge falling out his Real Madrid counterpart after Pique stated that he would quit playing for Spain in the country, as a whole, refused to allow Catalonia to become its own independent nation.
However, in quotes published by AS from a news conference on Wednesday, the 30-year-old hit back at the "lies" that had been written about him and Ramos - and even claimed that the pair were to become business partners in the future.
He said: "The Sergio Ramos thing is a lie - we get on phenomenally, I've repeated it 20,000 times. What's more, we're going to be partners in a business venture that I proposed to him."
The business project is believed to be called "Power to the Players", a media platform created for sports stars by those already in the professional game akin to England's own 'The Players Tribune', which is a platform designed to allow professional athletes to be published online.
Ironically, it was AS themselves who claimed that Pique and Ramos' relationship was "broken beyond repair" due to the former's staunch defence over Catalonia's decision to hold a referendum over whether they should break away from Spain and govern themselves permanently.
The vote was marred by police violence as Spanish riot squads sought to prevent Catalonians from casting their ballots on Sunday, and has led to widespread condemnation from many viewers across Europe.
Pique was roundly booed by Spanish football supporters as the men's national team trained on Monday ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Albania on Friday as his relationship with those fans become even more strained than before.
Ramos, for his part, stated his belief that his compatriot should have been more careful with what he tweeted out ahead of the referendum last weekend.
The Spanish captain said earlier this week: "Pique's tweet was not the best thing to do if he doesn't want to be booed.
"Everyone is free to say what they think, although as a captain I'm always concerned about the atmosphere in the team and Pique knew what he was doing. Maybe it wasn't the right time to do that and it doesn't help a lot."