Gerard Pique opens up on Pep Guardiola relationship.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has the only time he wanted to leave Barcelona was in the summer of 2011, when Pep Guardiola was in charge.
It is now over a decade since Guardiola’s fabled Barca side hit their peak by dismantling Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League Final at Wembley.
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Gerard Pique lifts lid on tense environment.
They had already beaten Alex Ferguson’s side in the 2009 final and in all Guardiola won two Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey with a team that contained such talents as Lionel Messi, Xavi Herdandez and Andres Iniesta.
A young Gerard Pique was charged with keeping things out at the back and he has now given an indication of just how intense it was working in an environment with Guardiola at the helm.
According to Pique, his blossoming relationship with pop megastar Shakira, with whom he now shares two children, led to the deterioration of his relationship with the current Manchester City boss, as did the demands placed on the Barcelona squad at the time.
“I thought about leaving Barcelona.”
“Pep wanted absolute control of everything that happened,” Pique says in an interview with Marca.
“I started dating Shakira and the relationship with him changed – now the relationship is perfect.
‘I had a lot of pressure. I felt that in training I had to do everything perfect. If there was a moment in which I thought about leaving Barca, it was that season (the summer of 2011).”
Barcelona’s long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid was arguably at its most intense when Guardiola and Mourinho were in opposite dugouts at the beginning of the 2010s and the Catalan’s determination to beat them at all costs also contributed to Pique‘s sense of fatigue.
“We reached an important point of tension with him, and with the dressing room in general. The rivalry with Jose Mourinho was very exhausting,” the now 34-year-old says.
A decade on and Pique’s presence in the Nou Camp dressing room, along with that of Sergio Busquets, is one of the last remaining embers of that golden era in the club’s history.
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Messi has recently departed for Paris Saint-Germain and with Barca now drowning in financial difficulties, Pique and other senior players recently agreed to pay cuts in a bid to help the club cut costs.
He has gone on to win every trophy possible for the club, with eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues among his glittering collection.