Gerard Pique wants to see Barcelona remain grounded through this period of success, comparing it to Milan in the 1980s and 90s. ‘Look where they are now…’
Pique has been part of successful Barca sides dating back to his return to the club in 2009, first under Pep Guardiola and now Luis Enrique.
“Last year we came back to win the treble and we’ve had a great decade. I remember the Milan of [Arrigo] Sacchi at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, and perhaps in time people will think of us like that,” he told an interview with El Pais.
“But we have to keep our feet on the ground, because look where Milan are now. Although, seeing the success of this model and the talent of this team, we can extend this period.
“Barca is a big club and no one is indispensable. And look, we have [Lionel] Messi. But in the end the club always moves forward.
“[Carles Puyol], Xavi [Hernandez] and Victor [Valdes] were all indispensable and the team has continued, we’re top of the League, we won another treble…
“I feel an important part [of the club] but if I’m not here someone else will come along. We try to be important while we play at Barca but we’re all part of history and it will keep happening.”
Pique, having worked under two of Barca’s most successful Coaches in Guardiola and Enrique, considered what is needed to be a Blaugrana trainer.
“There are certain requirements. Enrique proved he had them from the outset. The players didn’t demand anything,” he stressed.
“It’s happened that the philosophy of [Johan] Cruyff, [Frank] Rijkaard and Pep has been prolonged, it’s provided so much success that it’s proven it works at Barca. That’s unquestionable.
“Enrique brought his own [qualities] and also the new players who have joined. And it’s better now as we don’t feel uncomfortable if we don’t have the ball.
“Before, we had the ball so much that when it wasn’t our, we suffered. We’re more reliable.”
Pique also considered his own future during the interview and admitted he never expected to be playing past 30, but his passion for the game has only grown as he’s gotten older.
“I love football more and more. As a young man I thought I’d leave at 30, but I want to stay until I’m 35,” he revealed.
“And I know to stay at Barca is going to be very difficult. The years weigh you down and your physical qualities diminish, though I have built-in patterns that mean I enjoy it and improve.
“I go to the locker room an hour early now, whereas before I used to be in a rush. I eat well, sleep better…this is what Shakira and my family has given me.
“It’s obvious that if I continued the habits of four or five years ago, I wouldn’t stay at Barca. But when you’re young, you don’t prioritise the important things.”