Tag Archives: pique

Ronald Koeman defends Pique slamming Barcelona Board

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Ronald Koeman has come to defence of Gerard Pique after the defender gave a controversial interview slamming Barcelona’s board.


On the eve of El Clasico against Real Madrid, Pique sat down with La Vanguardia to talk the future of Lionel Messi, president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the social media scandal which has seen the LaLiga club allegedly attack its own players.

Pique’s comments, particularly the ones aimed at the ‘outrageous’ board, proved agenda-setting in Spain ahead of El Clasico.

But for Koeman, the 33-year-old is ‘a clever guy’ and knows the added scrutiny he has placed on himself going into one of the biggest games of the season.

‘He’s been here a long time and I’ve been here three months,’ Koeman said. ‘He’s got his opinion and I respect that.

‘He’s a clever guy and he knows when he does these interviews that he’s got a game the next day and that he’ll play well.’

It has been a tumultuous 12 months with Barcelona now onto their third manager of 2020 having sacked two-time LaLiga winner Ernesto Valverde in January, and his successor, Quique Setien, after the 8-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August.

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But the big story of the year was Lionel Messi submitting a burofax informing the board, who he had lost faith in, that he intended to leave in the summer, a year before his contract was due for expiry.

Pique was reportedly among a gaggle of players to stay quiet in the middle of the saga but he has since spoken out on the poor handling of the situation by president Bartomeu.

Pique added: ‘As president I would have acted differently. I asked Leo to stay on.

‘I didn’t have much dealings with him those days because I thought it was a very personal decision. I only said: “Leo, it’s a year, and then new people will come.”

‘I asked myself: “How can it be that the best player in history, who we have had the incredible luck to enjoy, gets up one day and sends a burofax because he feels that they are not listening to him?” Everything is too shocking. What’s going on?

‘Leo deserves everything. The new stadium and its sponsor should have his name (on it).’

Real Madrid travel to the Nou Camp three points ahead of Barcelona in LaLiga, albeit having played a further game.

Pressure is on both managers, with Real manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly under the microscope following back-to-back defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

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In contrast Koeman will welcome back Jordi Alba for the visit of Real. The full-back picked up a hamstring injury against Sevilla at the start of the month but has returned sooner than expected to be in line to feature.

The Dutch boss will, however, be without first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and defender Samuel Umtiti.

Koeman, 57, played in 14 Clasicos while at Barcelona as a player, but admitted it was a new feeling going into it as coach.

‘Hopefully I’ll sleep alright! Of course it’s different, the best thing would be going out there on the pitch, but my playing days are behind me,’ he said.

‘So the next best thing is to be as close to the pitch as possible. We know it’s an important match but I’m used to that kind of pressure.’

The excitement for the first Clasico of the season, which is being broadcast on LaLigaTV, has seen LaLiga roll out the red carpet across the globe.

It is a game which brings immense scrutiny and Koeman will know a poor showing from Pique will see his interview come back to bite him.


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‘Change Coach, Change President’ – Pique leads solidarity

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Gerard Piqué’s senior colleagues agree with his call for “structural” change after Friday’s Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich.

Barcelona’s dressing room is in no doubt: the Catalan club need to call presidential elections. One of the team’s vice-captains, Gerard Piqué, indicated as much after Friday’s 8-2 Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich, when he told his post-match interview that an overhaul is in order at the Camp Nou.

Piqué: “Structural” change need at Barcelona
“I hope something can from this humiliation,” Piqué said. “We need to take stock – and changes are needed at the club. I’m not talking about the players or the coaching staff, but something more structural. We have to change the direction we’ve been headed in for a number of years now. We’ve hit rock bottom.”

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Piqué was not alone in his take on Barça’s predicament. The Blaugrana’s major dressing-room figures are fully on board with his comments, including his suggestion that some of the team’s old guard may need to be sacrificed and fresh blood brought in (“I will be the first one to leave if that is what it is best for the team”).

Players accept their portion of the blame – but also look to Bartomeu
The players were swift to assume their own culpability for their mauling by Bayern, acknowledging that they were outperformed and outfought, but they also believe that years of erratic off-the-field decision-making led them to their Lisbon humiliation. They feel they weren’t well prepared enough tactically, and were undermined by what is an unbalanced squad.

Like Piqué, other senior players are prepared to fall on their sword if that helps to get the club back on course. However, they also expect the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, to be brave enough to do what’s best for Barcelona and call elections – which are due to take place in summer 2021 – ahead of schedule. “The atmosphere is too strained,” one senior dressing-room figure said. “Things won’t be put right by making the odd signing, by bringing in a fresh face or two; we need a reset.”

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COPE: Messi demands elections be called at Camp Nou
Indeed, Spanish radio station Cadena COPE has reported that Lionel Messi’s camp has demanded that elections be called; otherwise, he won’t be planning on renewing his contract in 2021, they say. “Right now, we need new ideas, new faces and a new plans,” is the word from within a devastated dressing room.

Xavi the players’ choice to turn Barcelona around
Among the senior players, the feeling is that a leader needs to be brought in who knows Barça, who can rally the troops and has enough personality to revitalise a club at a low ebb. And there’s only one name on their lips: Xavi Hernández.

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‘This is the greatest shame I’ve ever faced, changes needs to start’ – Pique

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After Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter finals, Gerard Pique said the club needs “changes at all levels.”

“Shame” was the first word that came to the mind of Barcelona defender Gerard Pique after after his side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League on Friday in Portugal.

The veteran defender played the entire game but there was little he could do to stop the Bayern onlsaught, which was made even worse when Barcelona loanee Philippe Countinho netted a brace at the end of the game to add insult to what was already a horrific injury.

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“Shameful is the word, nobody is untouchable. If new blood has to come and change this dynamic, I will be the first to pack up and leave. Now we have hit rock bottom. This is not the first, second, or third time that this has happened to us. I am in pain, we all are. We can’t compete like that, the club needs changes, not just players, I don’t want to point out anyone,” he said after the game.

Pique: Time for reflection at Barcelona
“We all need to reflect deeply. If new blood needs to come for the club to change course then I will be the first one to leave if that is what it is best for the team. We need to reflect on what is the best thing for the club and for Barca,” Pique added.

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Laliga title? ‘We Shall fight till the End’ 💪 – Pique

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Trailing rivals Real Madrid by four points at the top of the table in LaLiga, defender Gerard Piqué wants Barça to keep pushing.

Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué urged his team to continue fighting in LaLiga despite trailing leaders and rivals Real Madrid.

Having won back-to-back league titles, Barça are four points adrift of Madrid after a 4-1 thrashing of Villarreal on Sunday.

Piqué demands Barça keep fighting
Piqué called for his side to keep pushing ahead of hosting Espanyol in a derby clash on Wednesday.

“We don’t like to be behind in the standings, but we will fight to turn the situation around, knowing how complicated it is,” the Barca defender told Movistar.

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“We will fight to the end.”

After a Pau Torres own goal and Luis Suarez strike, Antoine Griezmann scored his first goal since February, and Ansu Fati sealed Barca’s win late on.

Pique hopes Griezmann, who has netted 15 times this season, gains confidence from his goal.

“Playing in this way makes the three of them [Lionel Messi, Suarez and Griezmann] closer to the goal,” he said.

“We feel more protected. In addition, Antoine’s goal is very important so that he is confident.”

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Barcelona have blown the title to Madrid – Piqué


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Barcelona have blown the title to Madrid – Piqué

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was pessimistic about his team’s title chances in a cryptic post-match interview after the LaLiga leaders’ 0-0 draw at Sevilla on Friday night.

Quique Setien’s side were held in an entertaining but goalless game at the Sanchez Pizjuan and no longer depend on themselves to win the league as rivals Real Madrid can now claim the title by winning their remaining matches in the competition.

Los Blancos are three points behind Barca, but have a game in hand and will move top if they beat Real Sociedad at Anoeta on Sunday, courtesy of their superior head-to-head record in the two Clasico clashes this season.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult to win this league,” Pique told Movistar+ after Barca’s draw in Seville.

“Now we don’t depend on ourselves… we are going to do everything possible, but I imagine very few points will be dropped.”

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“It’s going to be difficult for Real Madrid to lose points and today we lost an opportunity to keep depending on ourselves.”

Those remarks were interpreted by some as a possible reference to refereeing decisions in Real Madrid’s wins over Eibar and Valencia over the past week.

Pressed to explain his comments, he said: “Having seen the two rounds we have had, it’s going to be difficult.

“But anyway, we are going to try.”

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Barca is inferior to Madrid once again – Pique

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said his side have it all to do if they are to retain their Spanish title this season after being held to a 0-0 draw at Sevilla on Friday, handing Real Madrid the chance to top the standings this weekend.

“Seeing how the matches have gone so far, it’s going to be very difficult for us to win this league,” Pique said after the stalemate, which interrupted a run of two wins from two since the season resumed after being halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The draw leaves us in a position where we no longer depend on ourselves and looking at the fixtures it’s difficult to imagine Real Madrid are going to drop points but we’ll still give everything to try and win it.”

Real trail Barca by three points and if they beat Real Sociedad on Sunday they will overtake the Catalans at the top of the standings due to their superior head-to-head record.

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Zinedine Zidane’s side beat Valencia 3-0 on Thursday with a superb second-half display and won 3-1 against Eibar in their first game back and the extra time off has allowed Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio to return from injury.

Barca had beaten Real Mallorca on their return and defeated struggling Leganes 2-0 although they looked sluggish at times in both matches.

Pique said they had deserved to beat third-placed Sevilla and cursed not being able to score.

“It was a very competitive game and we didn’t play badly but this feels like two points dropped because we had more chances than them and they were looking tired towards the end,” he added.

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“But they are third in the league, they are a top team so we should not be surprised that it was difficult.”

Barca coach Quique Setien said he was optimistic Real would also slip up and said Pique had made his downbeat prediction in the heat of the moment.

“I think Pique’s words came from frustration. I’m sure he’ll think different tomorrow, I’m certain that Real Madrid are not going to win every game,” he said.

“Opponents always put up a fight and they have some tough games left. We no longer depend on ourselves but we have to be optimistic.”

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Pique’s health issue sent to Barcelona ahead Sunday El clásico


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Casillas annoyed with Barca 6-2 Madrid memory 11 years ago

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On Saturday May 2, it’s been 11 years since Barca beat Real Madrid 6-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Gerard Pique remembered it on Twitter by posting images of his goal and adding the message “11 years!”.

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Iker Casillas, the stopper who shipped all six goals, replied by saying 11+2 = 13. Referring to Madrid’s record number of European Cup wins.

Casillas and Pique have a good relationship and were team-mates in the national team for many years.


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Pique’s health issue sent to Barcelona ahead Sunday El clásico


Gerard Pique will be fit for Barcelona’s trip to Real Madrid on Sunday, despite picking up an injury against Napoli on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old was forced to withdraw in the 68th minute of his side’s Champions League Round of 16 clash after falling awkwardly on his ankle. The Spaniard looked to be in some discomfort, sparking fears that he may be unavailable for El Clásico this weekend.

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Barcelona played out life off them against Real Madrid in El Clasico


However, these concerns have since been quashed by Spanish radio network Cadena SER’s Que T’hi Jugues. The outlet claims that Pique will be fine to take part in the game with the injury not being as bad as first feared.

Karím Benzema (white) | Gerard Pique (Red, Blue Stripe)

Barcelona went 1-0 down against Genaro Gattuso’s side in what was a disappointing start to the game. They improved after the break and grabbed an equaliser – and more crucially an away goal – through Antoine Griezmann just before the hour mark. 1-1 is how it finished, a result that makes Quique Setien’s favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

Barcelona now turn their attention back to league action and what is one of the most eagerly anticipated Clásico clashes for a number of years. Just two points separate the old foes and a win for Real would be enough to lift them into top spot at the expense of La Blaugrana.

The reverse fixture was a drab affair for the neutrals with the two teams playing out a 0-0 draw in a game in which Los Blancos always looked more likely to score despite being the visitors.

News of Pique’s availability will be a relief for Barcelona as they have been suffering issues at the back all season. Setien’s side have conceded 29 times in La Liga, with Real, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Getafe, Athletic Bilbao and even 15th placed Real Valladolid all boasting superior defensive records.


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