Got a point to prove, Gerard? Barcelona defender Pique heads back to training as he looks to revive his Nou Camp career after being told he is no longer needed by boss Xavi due to his ‘unprofessional conduct’
- Xavi told former team-mate Gerard Pique he is no longer needed at Barcelona
- The defender is unwanted as a result of numerous issues away from the pitch
- He has promised to put aside his private life to focus solely on football next term
- Pique has even returned to training to ensure he is prepared for the new season
The Spanish international was told he had no future at the club two weeks ago due to his unprofessional conduct off the field and his deteriorating physical condition.
Xavi told Pique – who is reportedly among the highest earners at Barcelona – that he was no longer part of his plans and that he could leave the Nou Camp this summer despite remaining in contract until 2024.
Defender Gerard Pique is getting back to work at Barcelona in bid to prove boss Xavi wrong
The Spanish international was told he had no future at the club two weeks ago by boss Xavi
The 35-year-old has, however, has disregarded Xavi’s comments and vowed to work harder to prove the Barcelona manager wrong.
He has even been seen back in training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper – Barcelona’s training ground- most days to undergo his rehabilitation.
The club have even captured videos of the defender back on the grass running and training in the gym as he works hard to return from injury.
The club have even captured videos of the defender back on the grass running and in the gym
The 35-year-old is working hard to make sure that he is fit and prepared for the new season
The centre-back missed the final weeks of the season after the exacerbation of his tendinopathy in the adductor of the left thigh against Mallorca.
Pique has also previously hit out against Barca president Joan Laporta for hinting at the arrival of a ‘top-level defender’ by saying they would only be used as a substitute.
He reportedly said: ‘I’ll be a starter. If you have the guts, bring the best central defender in the world, who will come as a substitute.’
The club had hope that Pique would make a dignified exit this summer but it appears he will be looking to stick around for as long as possible.
The veteran central defender is eager to show that even at 35 he is still the best option for Xavi next season.
Jules Kounde has been touted as Barcelona’s primary defensive target for the summer window
Barcelona are poised to sign Andreas Christensen from Chelsea on a free transfer and are interested in Cesar Azpilicueta.
Uruguayan star Ronald Araujo has already been earmarked as the new leader of the club’s defence.
Since returning to the club in 2008 after four years with Manchester United, Pique has won three Champions Leagues, eight LaLigas, three Club World Cups, seven Copa Del Rey, six Spanish Super Cups and three UEFA Supercups, scoring 53 goals in 602 games.
Pique is also making changes to his personal life. He will be taking a back seat when it comes to the businesses he is involved in.
Pique (left) is also making changes to his personal life after his high-profile split from Colombian singer Shakira (right) came to light
Pique is the founder of a sport and media investment holding called Kosmos Holding, which he formed and is also president of, alongside four other partners.
One of those partners include Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder of Barcelona’s current sponsor and Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten.
He will also be stepping away from social media as he looks to focus exclusively on football ahead of the 2022-2023 campaign.
The former pair (pictured together above) are parents to sons Milan, nine, and Sasha, seven
This comes shortly after Pique’s high-profile split from Colombian singer Shakira came to light.
The former pair – who are parents to sons Milan, nine, and Sasha, seven – released a joint statement in which they said: ‘We regret to confirm that we are separating.
‘We ask for privacy at this moment for the well-being of our children, who are our maximum priority. Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect.’