The highs & lows from Man Utd to Barcelona success

Gerard Pique has introduced his retirement from skilled soccer after a profession the place he’s received a staggering 29 main honours since swapping Manchester United for Barcelona in 2008.

“It’s the second to finish this stage of my life. I at all times stated that after Barcelona there will probably be no different membership, and that’s the approach it’ll be,” Pique stated on social media.

“I’ll develop into an everyday fan,” the World Cup winner continued. “I’ll help the workforce. I’ll cross my love for Barça to my youngsters, like my household did with me. And me, in the end, I will probably be again.”

Pique has been relentless in his pursuit of greatness, choosing up La Liga titles, Champions League crowns and home cups alongside the best way to changing into a legend in Catalonia.

The 35-year-old is now essentially the most adorned defender in Barca’s historical past, however his journey to attaining that standing was not plain crusing. In actual fact, it took some harsh classes at United to mould Pique into the person he’s as we speak.

Powerful beginnings – 2007

Pique started his Previous Trafford profession on the age of 17, showing in a League Cup tie in opposition to Crewe Alexandra in October 2004. That season, he additionally appeared as soon as in each the Champions League and FA Cup.

Seven first-team outings and a Premier League debut adopted within the 2005-06 season earlier than Pique went on mortgage to Actual Zaragoza for the 2006-07 marketing campaign. It was when he arrived again in England that his fortunes – so vibrant for such a younger participant – started to show.

Chatting with The Gamers’ Tribune, Pique recalled the sport which noticed his possibilities of making it at United fade: “In 2007, after two years in England, [Sir Alex Ferguson] instructed me that I used to be going to play about 25 video games that season.

“Every thing began effectively. I used to be attending to play a bit alongside Rio [Ferdinand]. After which, in November, we went to play in Bolton.

“Sh*t…I can nonetheless image the ball floating within the air. It was a set-piece. I used to be alleged to be marking Nicolas Anelka. Bolton chipped the ball into the field, and I believed,  ‘I’m going to be aggressive.’

“I jumped as much as head the ball away, and I fully missed it. It was like one thing out of a nightmare.

“The ball simply…saved floating. It was that yellow and purple Premier League ball. Do not forget that one? It floated proper over my head like a balloon.

“I landed and circled in horror. Anelka managed the ball and scored simply. We ended up dropping 1-0, and it was my fault.”

Pique himself pinpoints that defeat because the second Ferguson misplaced religion in him. After being promised 25 appearances, he made simply six extra earlier than departing on the finish of the season

El Clasico – 2009

One advantage of leaving United for Catalonia was that Pique received to play in Pep Guardiola’s Barca facet, one of many best groups ever assembled.

It was merely an unreal assortment of expertise, and there’s no higher instance of that than when Barca went to the Santiago Bernabeu – the house of a Madrid workforce that had received 17 of their final 18 video games – and battered them 6-2.

Pique’s objective on this sport was his first within the league for Barca, and on what an event to get it.

5-finger salute – 2010

Pique actually isn’t somebody to overlook out on any alternative to wind up Madrid followers, is he? He loves a Clasico, and on this specific version of the tie from 2010, the Spaniard raised 5 fingers for each objective scored by his facet on the evening.

Prime-tier piss boiling.

Again-heel help – 2011

You’ll’ve thought Messi was the one to supply insane expertise and methods, however no, Pique performs this sport by his personal guidelines – clearly he saved this one for Actual Madrid, who else?

The worst factor about that is Messi doesn’t even flip spherical to thank his team-mate for the help. We liked it, Gerard, don’t you are concerned…

Wembley – 2011

After Pique received his second Champions League trophy in opposition to Manchester United at Wembley in 2011, he wasn’t simply content material to take dwelling one other winners’ medal.

Oh no, Pique needed extra. Somebody get the scissors out.

Bayern Munich embarrassment – 2013

We’ve put this in right here to point out it hasn’t at all times been plain crusing for Pique at Barcelona. Enjoying for the Catalan membership seems to be extremely enjoyable, but it surely’s additionally not with out its adversity, which Pique and co. have needed to battle in opposition to whereas changing into one of the profitable sides of all time.

That is positively one second that Pique will wish to overlook for the remainder of his life.

Barca have been already getting schooled by Bayern within the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2013, and this personal objective simply made issues a complete lot worse.

Coaching cone – 2015

It’s a well-known proven fact that Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa don’t precisely see eye to eye. Regardless of being worldwide team-mates, Pique made it clear in a single interview that Arbeloa was “possibly somebody I do know, however not my buddy”.

Pique simply so occurred to make use of the Spanish phrase “conocido”, which suggests “acquaintance”, however made a degree of pausing at “cono” – which many onlookers took as referring to Arbeloa as a coaching cone.

He doesn’t miss any probability to boil a Madridista’s piss, and it’s truthful to say Arbeloa wasn’t too impressed: “It’s additionally true that I do know his household, and the respect I’ve for his household, he doesn’t have for mine.”

Chief – 2021

Barcelona followers received’t have too many fond reminiscences when wanting again at 2021 however it will’ve been even worse with out Pique.

Regardless of Lionel Messi’s departure, the Spanish giants continued to wrestle financially and have been desperately attempting to cut back their wage invoice.

Pique agreed to take a considerable pay lower and Barcelona have been in a position to register new signings Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj for his or her La Liga opener. 

The defender additionally scored an injury-time equaliser in opposition to Sevilla within the 2021 Copa del Rey semi-final and Barcelona went on to win the competitors.

READ MORE: Seven of Barcelona’s greatest cut price buys since Pep Guardiola joined in 2008

TRY A QUIZ: Are you able to identify the Man Utd & Barca groups from the 2008 CL semi-final?


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