Guardiola: ‘FC Barcelona have missed Gerard Piqué for the better part of the year. He’s now back to his necessary playing form’
Guardiola, speaking two weeks ago in response to transfer rumours: ‘Piqué will leave Barça when he wants. There is no manager than can decide for him in that sense. He is one of those players that loves this club too much, and these players are too special. Nobody can decide for them’
Piqué, speaking to Barca TV earlier this season: ‘There aren’t any problems with Guardiola; we’ve been working together for years. I know what he wants from me and I don’t think there are any problems in that sense. We have always spoken to each other face to face whenever there’s been anything to be said and if there is anything wrong, then he wouldn’t have any problem with coming up to me and saying it’
– I have been hearing from many sources that Piqué has been below par this season – that is probably the biggest understatement of the century.
Let’s start by saying that I have ZERO interest in discussing any Barça player’s private life unless it affects their performance on the pitch. I don’t think anyone needs to know about Messi’s beautiful girlfriend, Iniesta’s gorgeous baby or Xavi’s private dealings with his family. As long as they carry out the job they get paid very good money to do at the required standard, I’m happy for them to do whatever they want with their lives.
Unfortunately, the line between being a professional footballer and a full time celebrity is very thin and, from time to time, some of our Barça players are drawn towards crossing it without even realising it. It famously happened to Ronaldinho (taking him from FIFA World Player of the Year to Highest Earning Flop of the Century in a couple of seasons) and, perhaps more unknown to the wider public, Mikel Arteta while at La Masia (where bad influences ruined one of the most promising youngsters to ever enter our Culė academy)
You may be wondering why I’m mentioning all of the above and, if you aren’t, you have probably guessed already: I have been terribly worried about Piquė’s choices this season.
Let’s go straight to the point: From a guy’s point of view, dating Colombian hotty Shakira deserves a clap. Man, you did pull. Congratulations. Well done on getting one of the hottest girls on the planet. Waka waka as much as you can and be happy!
Learn from Puyol, copy his commitment and determination despite injuries. Look at how Mascherano has destroyed the question mark over his head by giving his all chasing every ball despite not necessarily being a natural defender. Listen to Abidal’s words of wisdom ahead of his liver transplant, watch how he has attended training even disobeying advice from Guardiola and his doctors.
Thinking about it, being a popstar may be quite cool. It may make you famous enough to end up living in LA and hang out with Enrique Iglesias and maybe even Ricky Martin on a regular basis. Who knows? Piquė may even get to meet Posh Spice Boy David Beckham and, after a few celebrity bashes, agree to join him while pretending to play some soccer at LA Galaxy.
Having said that, I am hoping that is not the case. Our Gerard showed tremendous form during his first seasons at the Camp Nou and I would like to interpret his dip this year as part of his ‘growing up’ process: Dealing with those annoying paparazzi on a daily basis while coping with Culė expectations can definitely not be an easy task.
Piquė was excellent against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. Let’s hope his focus remains on football rather than fashion shows from now on – Guardiola would be a much happier manager if he did.
GERARD PIQUĖ: THE BEST CENTRAL DEFENDER IN THE WORLD WHEN FOCUSED!!!!
HOW DO YOU feel about Piquė’s performances this season?