Gerard Pique is a Spanish footballer who is one of the iconic product of the La Masia academy at Barcelona. Born on 2 February 1987, Pique is a central defender who joined the La Masia academy when he was just 10 years old. After being groomed by the Barcelona youth academy, which has produced an incredible amount of talent in its rich history, Pique decided to join Manchester United in 2004 against the transfer odds. However, there were a lot of football whispers that United would be making a move for this highly rated defender.
Despite being an iconic product of the La Masia academy, Pique would go on to make his debut as a professional footballer in the English Premier League with United in 2004. Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had a lot of faith in the promise shown by the youngster. Despite making his debut for United, Pique found it difficult to play on a regular basis. After transfer rumours pointed out to a potential loan move, Real Zaragoza took him back to Spain where he caught the eye of Barcelona.
In his solitary season with Real Zaragoza, Pique made 22 appearances in the La Liga. Even though Pique returned from his season in Spain as a more experienced defender, he was still not getting regular first-team opportunities due to the presence of an established centre back combination of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The lack of game time continued to affect the growth of a promising young defender and the transfer news sensed that a number of clubs were looking to exploit this position.
United tried to kill the transfer rumours by giving him opportunities in the 2007-08 season, but Barcelona ultimately ended up bringing him back to the Camp Nou in the 2008-09 campaign. Immediately after his return, Pique slotted into the first-team alongside Carlos Puyol and they formed one of the iconic defensive partnerships. He was part of the team that managed to set new records in every competition and went on to be recognised as one of the greatest football teams of all time.
Pique has ended up winning a remarkable nine La Liga titles with Barcelona along with three Champions League medal. There have been several trophies for the defender, who also won the Premier League and Champions League with Manchester United. Pique has also picked up the World Cup and European Championship with Spain.
Gerard Pique Transfer Rumours
- From Barcelona to Manchester United for £4.7 million in 2004
- From Manchester United to Barcelona for £4.5 million in 2008
Pique was convinced by Manchester United to make a move away from the famed La Masia academy for Carrington training ground due to the persuasive powers of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2004. Barcelona, though, made him one of the transfer targets when Guardiola took over. After a lot of gossip, Pique made a comeback to the Camp Nou in 2008 and he has not looked back since.