Gerard Pique has spoken fondly of Sir Alex Ferguson and reflected on how the manager reacted after being told he wanted to return to Barcelona.

“When I arrived there I was 17 and it was really hard for me to leave my family here, to change club, to change all my friends,” said Pique. “For me, Sir Alex Ferguson was like a second father. He helped in all the ways, not only in football terms but also how to find a house and all my relations out of football. I think that, for me, he was a really helpful person. For me, Alex Ferguson will always be a second father. I remember when I went to his room to say that I wanted to leave because Barcelona was coming for me. It was my town, it was my club when I was young and I wanted to come back. He didn’t want me to leave and said I had a future at the club and he expected a lot from me. But I wanted to leave and he wrote me a letter saying that it was really difficult and really hard for him to let me go to Barcelona.”