Gerard Pique has described his spell away from Barcelona at Manchester United as ‘tough’ but ‘made me the man I am today’.
The 31-year-old defender is closing in on 450 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants but he took time to describe his spell away from the club early in his career.
“From an early age, I was a member of Barcelona – my grandfather made me a member when I was born,” Pique told the Players Tribune
“It is a club which I have a very special bond with and it feels like my home and my family.
“However, the day arrived when I chose to leave the club and I made that decision because I thought that I needed to be a footballer.
“The first six months in Manchester were very difficult and I cried a lot, but that was crucial in making me who I am today.
“I would have been a very different person if I had not gone through that four-year period – three at United and then one on loan at Real Zaragoza.
“When I left Barca I was a kid and when I returned, I was a man.”