Why Barcelona players allegedly labelled Gerard Pique a ‘traitor’ during pandemic

Once upon a time, Barcelona fans viewed Gerard Pique as a hero, but things have begun to change with the defender labelled a ‘traitor’ by teammates.

The La Liga giants have notoriously struggled in recent years. Their financial issues throughout the pandemic and the heavily slated presidential reign of Josep Maria Bartomeu left the club in disarray. But since Xavi took over the managerial mantel, the club has risen from the ashes.

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The Spaniard hit the ground running by setting strict rules for the squad to follow. These included the players turning up 90 minutes early for training and allowing him to track their off-the-pitch activities. He then enhanced the side by securing the services of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

His alterations resulted in the team’s standard of play blossoming into something reminiscent of their glory days. They entered a 13-match unbeaten streak, in which they dismantled Real Madrid by four goals to nil.

But before their current form, the outbreak of Covid-19 hit hard and resulted in several of the players having to take pay cuts.

Read: Gerard Pique denies wrongdoing over controversial Spanish Super Cup deal.

Why have Barcelona fans labelled Gerard Pique a traitor?

While the rest of the squad were doing their best to help the club, the defender supposedly just looked after himself. He initially appeared to have taken a drop in finances, and the supporters adored him for it.

In the opening game of the season, the 34-year-old fired home a bullet of a header against Real Sociedad to send the Nou Camp into raptures. But since then, his fortunes have changed.

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As per Sergi Font, Pique and Bartomeu agreed on a salary increase to be paid in instalments. While this initially meant he would take a pay cut, it would benefit Pique financially in the long run. He was happy to talk about the pay cut but not the instalment element. This left the dressing room furious.

Upon finding out this information they left him with the message “TRAITOR” written on the board for his arrival.

Spanish Super Cup drama

However, if things weren’t already bad enough, Pique has found himself in more hot water. On April 18, El Confidencial released a report that Pique’s company Kosmos helped the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, move the Supercopa de Espana to Saudi Arabia. The piece also alleges that he demanded €24 million, pocketing €6 million per season for four years.

Featured Image Credit: Getty