Gerard Pique for president. That’s the sentiment amongst many culers this Monday morning following the Catalan centre-back’s splendid week of service for Barcelona. First it was revealed that he’d taken a significant pay-cut to enable the club to register Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia, and then he scored the opening goal of the campaign against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou, the first in La Liga of the post-Lionel Messi era.
Barcelona went on to win the game 4-2 following a late rally from the Basque visitors. Julen Lobete Cienfuegos and Mikel Oyarzabal scored for La Real, while Martin Braithwaite (twice) and Sergi Roberto joined Pique on the scoresheet for the blaugrana. It was a much-needed reminder that, even without the greatest player ever, Barcelona still have a strong and competent team.
Pique continued to make headlines post-game. The 34-year-old hosted a dynamic Twitch session from the home he shares with his wife, Shakira, and his children, featuring several other Barcelona players and renowned streamer Ibai Llanos. He also posted a lovely little video on social media that saw him receive an autograph from (then-Barcelona player, now-Barcelona coach) Ronald Koeman on his fifth birthday.
“It was a great game,” Pique said of the victory over La Real during his Twitch stream as reported by Diana Kristinne. “In the aftermath of Leo and everything related to his exit I think that this win gives the team a lot of confidence, we’re very excited.
“It’s true that nothing will ever be the same again as when we had Leo, but I think we have a good enough team to get people excited, to compete for titles until the end of the season. Today was the first step toward that. I was fortunate enough to score, which was an important goal because it was the first and I think it calmed us down for the rest of the game. We felt the fans by our side, which was by far the most important thing of the day.
Gonna translate a bit of what Pique said on his Twitch last night.
— Diana Kristinne (@DianaKristinne) August 16, 2021
Pique also spoke about the decision to reduce his salary to help the club register their new signings. “It was something that we needed to do, because of the pandemic and because of the bad management of the last few years,” he said.
“We wanted to help the club so that this gets fixed and we can get out of this problem. During its history Barcelona has always survived the problems it’s had and I think today was a small step at the start of an era in which we won’t have Leo with us, but I think we’ll experience plenty of positive emotions.”
Finally, the 34-year-old spoke about his own medium-term plans. “I’ve said it many times that I want to retire here,” he said. “I can’t see myself playing anywhere else. I already played elsewhere when I was young, I don’t have that curiosity that maybe other do. When I feel I’m not competitive enough to defend this shirt I’ll raise my hand and go.”