The Barcelona star, one of the few players left in the successful reign of the now Manchester City boss at Camp Nou, reflected on their band
Gerard Pique has revealed that his relationship with Pep Guardiola ‘suffered’ during their last season together in Barcelona, amid the player’s relationship with Shakira and the rivalry of his manager with Jose Mourinho.
The defender, one of the few players who has been at the club since the Manchester City manager’s successful time at Camp Nou, says he now enjoys a fruitful friendship with his old boss, a decade after their last season together .
But following their time together, the veteran center-back admitted that he was close to the Blaugrana during a 2011-12 campaign, which tested his bond through his love life and Mourinho, then at the helm of Real Madrid.
What was said?
“We have reached an important point of tension with him and with the dressing room in general,” Pique said. The Cassock.
‘The rivalry with Jose Mourinho was very exhausting. Pep wanted absolute control over everything that happened.
“I went out with Shakira and the relationship with him changed; now the relationship is perfect. I had a lot of pressure. I felt I had to do everything perfectly during training.
‘If I wanted to think for a moment about leaving Barca, it was that 2011-12 season. I suffered a lot with him last year. ”
Pique and Guardiola’s time together
After rejoining the club where he played his youth football for Manchester United in 2008, Pique became a cornerstone of Guardiola’s tenure in Barcelona during their first season together.
However, the immediate success of a triple campaign with the glory of the Champions League set high expectations, but it only got worse when former Chelsea boss Mourinho took the lead over Real Madrid.
The tension of Guardiola and Mourinho’s rivalry – which culminated in Los Blancos’ League win in 2012 – forced the former to a year-long sabbatical, while Pique subsequently continued with a further triumph as a supporter of Barca.
The bigger picture
The 34-year-old – who has suggested he stay at Barca until he retires – will try to help the club move further on the table when the season resumes after the international break in September.
Ronald Koeman’s team ranks fourth in La Liga as they look forward to last year’s Copa del Rey triumph with further success in a post-Lionel Messi era.
Guardiola, meanwhile, will try to defend his Premier League title after recovering from a first-weekend defeat to Tottenham.