Gerard Pique is a key figure at Barcelona, meaning that anything he says in the Spanish press is much talked about.
The defender has primarily been popular amongst the Barca faithful throughout his time at the club. But their love for him grew even further when he agreed on a wage deferral in the summer.
This benefitted the Spanish giants to a massive extent. It helped them to register new signings Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero.
The fans’ admiration for the 34-year-old shone through in the opening game of the 2021/22 season – a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad. Poetically, Pique caught the ball beautifully with his head to send it flying past Alex Remiro in the Sociedad goal.
He sprinted towards his cheering supporters and kissed his badge. But things have not always been as positive for Pique this season.
Gerard Pique v Lluis Canut
In January, esteemed journalist Lluis Canut claimed to Catalan television that Pique earned €28 million (£23.4 million) per year. This would make him the highest earner at the club.
An angered Pique responded on social media.
He said: “Characters like this charging for public television to defend their friends. Here are 50% of my payroll earned on December 30th. Respect yourself a little.”
There is also a strain on the relationship between Pique and Lionel Messi, according to reports. It is claimed that the Argentinian was disappointed that his former teammate only took a wage deferral after he left the club.
Canut told Onze on TV3: “In part, Messi also felt deceived by Pique, because [he then didn’t further reduce his contract] until Messi left the club and Messi felt he should have done that earlier to try and avoid his exit.”
The tension is still rife between the pair of footballing greats. Furthermore, the forward recently returned to Spain for a meal with his former teammates, but Pique was not invited to join them. It is reported that the relationship between the pair is “broken”.
Gerard Pique makes honest admission about Spanish press and his presidential aim
Another problem Pique seemingly has, along with his wage controversy, is with the Spanish press.
Speaking to Ibai Llanos, he said: “If you knew about how the press works in Spain… you see, you understand everything. It’s all about friends. Let’s say this player, or that manager has a friend in the press… they don’t get criticised. You see opinion articles defending them.”
He then went on to discuss a different topic – club issues at Barcelona. The defender plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world, where political angles swarm the main headlines.
Pique stated his ambition to be club president and the one thing he would do if he were to win an election.
He said categorically: “If I were president of Barça, I would tell the entire toxic entourage to f*** off.”
Pique is never afraid to speak his mind and has a mind for business. In addition, he is currently the owner of FC Andorra. The club have already secured one promotion, whilst Pique also employed the managing services of Champions League winner Gabri.
Whether the defender does become Barcelona president in the future is unclear. However, one thing is for sure – he is very clear about what he wants to do.
Featured Image Credit: Getty