Gerard Pique has been one of the maestros for Spain and FC Barcelona over the years. After retiring from professional football last year, he speaks with journalist Jordi Baste on RAC1, getting candid about several issues and sharing his thoughts on Real Madrid, Barca presidency and Lamine Yamal among others.
Gerard Pique- a defensive stalwart
Gerard Pique has been one of the greatest names in Spanish football over the years. Regarded as one of the walls in the defensive sector, he has seen the ups and downs of both Spain and Barca over the years. He has gone through several topsy-turvy seasons for the club, when the Catalans could not win a trophy for three years, and has also experienced the stellar moments with them, when they had won the treble and sextuple under the guidance of legendary boss Pep Guardiola. He has been a permanent member for the club since decades, having played with some of the biggest names ever to grace the club, in form of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Suarez and Neymar to name some few. He has acted as a role model for several youngsters, with some of them earning laurels now.
Last year, “Piquenbauer”- fondly called by fans due to his exuberant defensive tactics, decided to call upon a stellar career after more than a decade of madness at the defense. After a year, he has caught up with journalist Jordi Baste in a candid interview at RAC1, and said that although he misses playing competitive games at Spotify Camp Nou, his arena once, he does not regret making the decision of hanging up his boots. He was heard saying, “I miss competing and the locker room and training. I miss competing, but I haven’t played sports for more than a year. I miss competing at the Camp Nou to win, but I don’t regret it. There is a moment that comes to you and that’s it. I’m proud of how everything went.”
Real Madrid- not interested
Pique has been extremely professional in his entire life, and in the interview, those bits of exceptional professionalism was seen. While asked does he follow Real and Barca, he said although he keeps a track of the Blaugranas, he does not follow his arch rival Real Madrid. He went on to say, “Madrid, for example, I no longer follow. When you’re out of the circle I’m only interested in whether Barca wins. When the sensations are not so good, criticism comes because we have that level of demand. But for those of us who are used to it, it is something we know: just winning is not worth it. Winning at the last minute is not worth it; in Madrid, they would be delighted and here we think that it was not played well.”
Speaking about the blend of youth an experience in the team, he said, “There is a very good mix and this balance is very positive. But there are many things like there has to be a competitive team. There are many young players who two days ago were playing in the reserve team and they have to get better at it.”
When asked about the youngsters, Pique has urged followers to have some patience with them. He has shared glimpses of his training with Lamine, and is surprised by the meteoric rise of Fermin Lopez and Marc Guiu. He spoke about their brilliance, saying, “I had shared some training with Lamine, the other two have been a surprise. They don’t have to have the responsibility. We can’t think that Fermín will make us win the Champions League in these first two years.”
“We have to be patient with the project. Xavi knows the house and has mastered the game model. I don’t see anyone better than Xavi to take this forward.”
Pique has responded regarding the Negreira issue, saying that these accusations are ill-attempts to tarnish the club’s reputation, labelling them as scary. He said, “It is scary that people say we won because of the referees. There is an attempt to distort history to tarnish our achievements. They are in the middle of the process and at the end of everything it will be possible to explain it better. “
“The narrative is being turned. Sociological Madridismo? This is a country with more people from Madrid than from Barca. We will always be the ones who are on the side and want to bother.”
Asked about a possible return to Barca as a president, Pique said, “I don’t rule it out, but I don’t have it in my head. It’s very sacrificial, you put everything in for the good of the club without financial benefit. I would only consider it because of the connection because I feel that I owe the club a lot.”