October 1, 2018

Player Feature: Barcelona’s key figure in Gerard Pique

One of the best centre-halves in the world

Full Name: Gerard Pique Bernabeu

Birthdate: February 2, 1987

Place of Birth: Spain

Football Club (Currently): Barcelona

Position(s): Defender/Centre-back

Playing Years: 2004 to present

Formative Years and Football Career:

Gerard Pique has been with FC Barcelona, the club where he started out as an adolescent, in 2008, after spending three seasons with Manchester United and a one year loan deal with Real Zaragoza.

He was 10 years old when he joined the youngest boys’ team at the club. Since then, he passed through different youth levels, picking up title wins along the way and gathering victories in all age groups—Alevin A, Infantil B and A, Cadete B and A, and Juvenil B and A. He also represented Spain in the under-19 level that won the 2006 U-19 European Championship. He also played in the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. In his time of training, development, and learning, Gerard Pique showed a remarkable ability to become accustomed to different playing positions on the field. He also gained a reputation for his goal-scoring skills, even though he is on a defensive position.

At the end of the 2003-04 season, he left FC Barcelona for Manchester United. He made his debut for Mtd Utd three weeks after joining the team during a Carling Cup match against Crewe Alexandra . He was with Manchester United until the 2005-06 season before he was loaned to Real Zaragoza for the following season. He played a total of 22 league games during his stay with the Aragonese side, eighteen of which he was among the starting players. Pique returned to Manchester United during the 2007-07 season. He had a memorable season when he returned to Mtd Utd, being able to celebrate both the Premiership and Champions League where he scored two goals in the group stage fixtures.

In his first season when he returned to Barcelona, he already became the centre-back and immediately notched three goals. His impressive ability to work the ball forward from the back and back attacking moves has made him one of Barcelona’s key figures. His goal in the 6-2 victory at the Bernabeu was a primary example of this.

He solidified his reputation as one of the best central defenders in the world during his second season with the Barcas where he also scored his second league title for the club. In his third season, he became an even more integral part of the centre of defence due to three of his teammate’s injuries. He played his greatest number of official matches in season 2010-11, having 51 appearances and also facing his former team, Manchester United, during the final competition of the Champions League with Barcelona coming out victorious. Gerard Pique made his 100th appearance for Barcelona in September 2010.

Despite suffering an injury during this fourth season, Pique still managed to bag the victory during the Spanish Super Cup, the Club World Cup, and the Copa del Rey. In his fifth season with Barcelona, he became an even more important player as the team had been encountering problems in the centre of defence. By the end of his fifth season, he was promoted as a first choice centre-back. The following season, he exceeded 200 games for the team as Barcelona claimed a title victory with a total of 100 points.   

Pique was also the player that scored Barcelona’s 1000th international goal against Celtic during a Champions League group stage match in season 2013-14. The following season, he played a total of 43 games as they marched to the club’s second historic victory. His return to Barcelona was a hugely important move. Gerard Pique has become one of the most pivotal features of Spain and Barcelona’s defence, before he quit the Spanish national team to focus more on Barcelona. Gerard Pique is regarded as one of the best in the world in his position.

By @EliaasMJ

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