Piqué’s labyrinth in his “terrible year”: what can happen to his career after the media separation from Shakira and the audio scandal

Gerard Piqué will resolve his football future in the following days (Pablo Morano/)

The Catalan press agrees in widely separating the football performance of Gerard Piqué, even in a very complicated season due to a severe injury that caused him many absences in the games, of his high media exposure due to different aspects that could generate from the loss of ownership after many years, to retirement if the idea persists from the coach Xavi Hernandez of not taking it into account for the next season, as he made it known in a tough meeting they held in recent days.

Various prominent journalists from Catalonia were consulted by Infobae on Pique’s year and what can happen in the future and in the vast majority of opinions it is clear that Xavi does not question the individual quality of the defender, with whom he coincided in glorious years as a player, but he does consider that the high media exposure of the central marker does not It is the most advisable for this moment and seeks to change the dynamics of the Barça dressing room, pretending that the squad follows leaders with a lower profile, as is the case of Sergio Busquets.

Sique Rodríguez, in charge of the radio program that you play of the Chain BEhighlights that Piqué “has the problem of his injury – an adductor tendinopathy -, which is a delicate physical problem, and more so at his age” but that he also “has a very high salary and that greatly limits Fair Play due to the salary mass because He is the one who earns the most on the campus.”

Xavi wants a leader in the locker room with a lower profile like Sergio Busquets
Xavi wants a leader in the locker room with a lower profile like Sergio Busquets (PABLO MORANO/)

However, Rodríguez points out that “despite having finished the season badly because he was injured and did not play, when he started and had minutes, in the end ended up being the best defender and at the beginning with Xavi, when people believed that he was not going to play, he became a permanent fixture and the undisputed starter. I think if he’s okay, he’ll start again next year. Another thing is that the injury conditions him, which for me is the most worrying thing”.

Instead, he believes that the biggest problem “is that in the club they do not like that they talk so much about Piqué extra football as in the audios with Luis Rubiales (the president of the Spanish Federation), the controversy over the Spanish Super Cup (which he organized), his separation from Shakira, and many news that he goes out partying a lot. Even Xavi has spoken with him to adopt a lower profile. At Barcelona he worries because Pique should be a reference in the locker room, but if we talk about Piqué strictly as a footballer, he is the best defender Barcelona has from my point of view”, he clarifies.

David Bernabéu, of “Mediaset Sport Spain”, coincides with Piqué’s soccer diagnosis. “I think he has been one of the best players on the team football-wise and He continues to be Barcelona’s best defender. In the two and a half months that Barcelona had brilliance with Xavi Hernández, which were those stretches in which the 0-4 at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid was combined with the 1-0 with a great goal by Pedri against Sevilla, the win against Atlético Madrid, the away draw in Seville, when the team did good things, Pedri and Piqué were the best players”.

“His problem from football – Bernabeu maintains – is that ended the year with physical problems, with that adductor injury, of a certain long duration, which became chronic at the end of the season, which prevented him from performing at a high level and despite pushing a lot in the last few games, he agreed with Xavi that it was better not to play and that the team noticed it and the defensive line without Piqué suffered a lot”.

Gerard Pique and Shakira formed a family made up of Milan and Sasha (Getty Images)
Gerard Pique and Shakira formed a family made up of Milan and Sasha (Getty Images) (Getty Images/)

Bernabeu believes that from a footballing point of view, “Xavi has no doubts with Piqué.” And yet he believes there are two problems: “One, that Xavi doesn’t like Piqué’s extra-sports dalliances, although it has always been like this, now it has been corrected and increased because he is a very busy man outside of football because he has a lot of business activity, but he knows how to handle it. He is not a footballer who does not know how to perform despite his business activity and has shown it in recent years, but it is more a problem that Xavi wants footballers to be focused on sports activity and more, if we are talking about the second captain of the Barcelona squad. Xavi wants players who are one hundred percent focused on football and that with Piqué is impossible. It will be impossible to redirect it in this sense”.

The other problem, according to Bernabeu, “is that Xavi believes that the time has come to redirect the dressing room, and understands that Piqué’s personality is moving away from the team’s need at this time, that a wardrobe can be articulated around a character like Sergio Busquets, for example. A quieter leader, with a low profile, focused exclusively on football, whom he sees with the ability to be the guide or example for the youngest and not because of the profile of a noisy leader like Piqué, who is often more news for what happens outside the field than for what happens inside. Xavi doesn’t want that and that’s why I think that if Piqué didn’t finish the contract in two years and ended it now, Xavi’s response would have been ‘good night and thank you very much’. But Xavi knows that Pique has a contract and in principle the idea was not to have him for next year, but he understands that if there is no separation, he will have no choice but to accept him, treat him as one more, but beyond that , has alerted you to its role will decrease compared to the one it had in recent years.”

Bernabeu sees a parallel between today and what happened “when Guardiola did the same with Ronaldinho and Deco in 2008. This situation is not identical but has certain similarities. Piqué has a lot of personality, obviously. He has had an incredible career because he is physically and footballingly gifted, surely the best Barça center-back in the last 40 years, without a doubt, perhaps together with Puyol, although with different profiles. But he has a lot of personality and I am convinced that the more it is said that he should not continue, the more he will want to continue. What I think will happen is that the separation is very difficult, Barça will not be able to detach from him, that is going to stay and then, this is football and It should not be ruled out that if he stays, he ends up being a starter, especially in the face of what Xavi can bring for the next season because due to the Financial Fair Play it is difficult”.

What would happen if Piqué did not continue at Barcelona? Bernabeu is clear: “I think that if he does not continue for whatever reason, he will hang up his boots and announce his retirement because he will not go to another team or undertake any adventure because he has always said that if he continued playing football it was because it motivated him continue defending the Barça shirt and if he had to go somewhere else, he would leave because nothing else motivated him”.

He has a very high salary and that greatly limits Fair Play due to the salary bill because he is the one who earns the most on the squad
He has a very high salary and that greatly limits Fair Play due to the salary bill because he is the one who earns the most on the squad (ALBERT GEA/)

Ruben Coast, from the web Soccer Dosedefines Piqué’s last season as “annus horribilis -terrible year in Latin-“, “which includes the separation from Shakira for being a media couple, with high exposure, or the Treasury investigation for alleged fraud, that the wiretaps circulate , like those of his dialogues with Rubiales, the Twitch channel, speaking more with youtubers than with sports journalists, make it not a good year, but they have to do with Piqué’s profile as a person.

Costa maintains that “it is difficult to know how his situation continues from now on because Barcelona is going through a stage not of good times but a stage with very little money, with significant economic difficulties, doing economic juggling to retain his young players, those from La Masía, if they can sign but at the same time reducing the wage bill, and then the environment is not very motivating and he is a player who is in the final part of his career ”.

In any case, Costa points out that Piqué “acts as he always acted on and off the field: a guy who says things, who expresses himself about the Referendum for independence in Catalonia and what happens to the State, or if you have to wear or not the shirt of the Spanish team and that he did not generate any contradiction one thing or the other. He is a guy who falls outside of the normal player script. He is a player with an opinion. He touches many interests, and when one touches many interests, there are others around who feel harmed in his interests. His profile allows for high-intensity conflicts and if in the future he becomes a soccer manager he already has a mark, because they are marking the field for him, and if he becomes a businessman, too. They made him see that to enter a Federation or the League, there are interests”.

Ramon Kiss, of the newspaper correspondent The country in Barcelonaprefer to talk about “Pique Pack” to refer to the defender, “because I think that more than a brand, Piqué is a pack, at this time it is very difficult to manage. There is the whole aspect of the burden that he has not only in the matter of the separation from Shakira but with his company “Kosmos”, his agreement with Rubiales, the promotion to Second with Andorra, which is owned by him. All that has created a character that you never know who you talk to many times and separating those plots is difficult.

“Until now –recalls Besa-, Piqué had marked the timings for two very important issues: he had resigned from the Spanish team in exchange for concentrating only on Barcelona, and he has been a fundamental piece for the capitalization of the club as seen with the “Rakuten” contract (as sponsor) and let’s say that all these benefits that Piqué has had have now fallen. His physical situation is increasingly precarious and from a sporting point of view I think that Xavi does not want to face a season pending Piqué’s physique, who is a player who has practically played everything since forever. We must remember that phrase that Tito Vilanova said in 2011: “if Piqué had been injured, the invention would have fallen”. He is one of the most regular players that the team has had and his physical precariousness is what makes Barcelona look for a central defender, not only (Andreas) Christensen, who already has him confirmed, but another who competes decisively with Piqué, that he would stop playing a la carte and would have competition”.

Pique had decided to leave the Spanish team to be able to focus solely on Barcelona
Pique had decided to leave the Spanish team to be able to focus only on Barcelona (EFE /)

However, Besa points out that Xavi “in a way, he has very good will. He’s not a coach like Cruyff or Guardiola, and it’s hard for me to think that with them this would have gone on so long as to say ‘we’ve come this far’, which is now the question. And then you have to recap. And I understand that there is a pending meeting between Xavi and Piqué. There have been some, but I see that Piqué will have to compete sportingly and I don’t know if this will lead him to take more care of his business or he will have to focus more on his training, but he will have to face a year in a very different way”.

He also remembers another aspect of Piqué’s leadership and what can happen with Barcelona in the next season. “It is true that Xavi is waiting to see if Barcelona has the money to sign the central defender who competes with him. It did have a lot of impact when he said that he would not like the club to sign Matthijs De Light, when they negotiated with Juventus for him. Piqué managed his ownership and his condition as captain, he was one of the last captains. The issue that Xavi has pending is how to air or renew the leaders of the locker room. The departure of Messi made it foresee that everything was going to be renewed that group with Piqué, Busquets, Alba and Sergi Roberto and curiously it has not been renewed except for Messi and Barcelona needs it, and although the captains are voted by the squad, it is also true that many interventionist coaches sometimes decided that the captains put them they”.

For its part, Toni Padilla from the newspaper ara considers that Piqué’s season “summarizes a bit the reality of Barcelona, ​​trapped between the past and the future, between the need to look to the future with new players and salaries and a past that refuses to go away because despite not having been the best moment of his career, it has been the best. The statistics show that when Piqué plays, the team scores fewer goals”.

Padilla believes that Barcelona “still needs Piqué” although he considers him “an indomitable player who differs from the others because since his origins it is very rare to find a footballer who comes from a family with financial resources or who invests in operations such as the he does but always somehow has managed to master a balance and dominate the stage very well, as in the operation he carried out prior to the first day of the league in the modification he made to collect his salary, to appear as a savior unlike other captains who did not know how to play their cards ”.

Padilla believes that the novelty this year “is that for the first time Two very black clouds have appeared: the leaked audios of his conversations with Rubiales, which obviously question his morality, and then, his personal situation with Shakira, which has achieved something curious and that is that even in Barcelona, ​​people are with the Colombian singer, understanding that the ‘ perfect boy’ also had his flaws, like everyone else”.

Sergio Escuderocollaborator of the EFE agency, the newspaper ara and the Chain BE and co-author of the book on Barcelona “From glory to hell” believes that there is “bad news for Barça, and that is that Piqué, despite his age, the injury, that he is not focused on football as he should be because of his business dealings and so on, he has also been the team’s best central marker this season. When he was there, the team was defensively one, and when he wasn’t there, it was another despite the great level of Ronald Araujo and the fact that Eric García is young and it looks like he will progress”.

He has a very high salary and that greatly limits Fair Play due to the salary bill because he is the one who earns the most on the squad
He has a very high salary and that greatly limits Fair Play due to the salary bill because he is the one who earns the most on the squad (ALBERT GEA/)

“The problem, then, is that Barcelona lacks competence in defense, because he has received more goals than ever in recent years this season – Escudero recalls -, and it is a line that will have to be reinforced, I don’t know if Christensen will be the solution, but Piqué must be replaced. I don’t know if he will have to leave, but according to the latest information, whate Xavi has communicated to him is that he will no longer be essential as he was until now, precisely because of the renewal that has to be in the central line. I think it is significant that a defender, in the conditions he is in, continues to be the best. That speaks worse of the others more than good of Piqué”.

“If Xavi agrees with Piqué -he warns- and he calms down a bit with his private life and manages to recover from his injury, which took him out of the last stretch of the season and according to what is said, he still does not improve much, I think that Barcelona can continue to count on him in the squad, but surely he should stop being an essential starter and maybe he’s a player available for some big games, but he doesn’t play three games a week like he used to. I think this should be the solution because Piqué has already said that he will not go to another team and that if he leaves Barcelona, ​​it is to retire, but it seems that for now it is not what he wants. Likewise, I think he will end up playing a lot of games, and the good news for Barcelona is that if he plays less it will be because the young defenders were having a good level”.

David Salinasfrom the sports newspaper Sportmaintains that Piqué’s season “was good, maintaining the standards of the last ones beyond the injury”, and provides interesting numbers: “It is the seventh in number of games played in the Barcelona squad, and that means that he has been the undisputed starter all year. He has played 39 games and has scored three goals.”

“He has a contract until 2024 and Barcelona owes him a lot of money because he deferred the payment for these two years. It is true that Xavi has given him a warning, but it is false that he has sentenced him ”, clarify. “Piqué will continue at Barcelona, ​​sure, in the next season, but Xavi has told him that he doesn’t want a player who doesn’t think only about football when the player has businesses and projects and is in a thousand stories, and the coach has a lot at stake. , because the club has barely won a title, a Copa del Rey, in the last three seasons, so they won’t let one pass, and everything indicates that he will start as a substitute and will have to earn the position.


Earthquake in Piqué’s career as a result of the scandal over his separation from Shakira: unfiltered meeting with Xavi and challenge to the president of Barcelona