Gerard Pique has gone from strength to strength after leaving Manchester United. Behind the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown in pecking order for a central defensive position, he was happy to return to his former club, Barcelona, at the start of last season.
He is now a regular for the Spanish and European champions, with there often being talk of how we shouldn’t have let him slip away. The reality is we couldn’t have kept both Jonny Evans and Pique at the club whilst not playing them regularly, so it made sense to let Pique go. Evans could spend the rest of his career with us, after being brought up in a United supporting family but there was always going to be at least one bigger club for Pique than us.
Pique has today compared his current club with his former club.
“I understand that a player coming from another place plays for his individual prestige and to win trophies, and by doing that helps the team,” said Pique. “Yet I can assure you that I could never have the same feelings for the United shirt as a player from their youth academy can. However, Barcelona players are very aware of what this club means. You don’t need many lessons for that. Henry saw it as soon as he joined Barça.”
Pique then goes on to talk about how the players at Barcelona shows a different set up to United, although, I’m not sure how dissimilar the situations are.
“Even though we’re really tight at Barça, there are different groups. There are the Catalans, who are the captains, the home-grown players with the club in their blood,” he continued. “But there are other players, like Titi [Henry] and Abidal, who bring a lot of experience. Guardiola gives the orders, albeit tactfully. I’m still young with a lot to learn, but I like the fact that when I give my opinion, it is listened to and respected. In Manchester, there was more of a hierarchy. The senior players were greatly respected, and it was taken for granted that the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes were in charge.”