March 24, 2023

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Gerard Pique’s relationship with Barcelona manager Xavi has hit rock bottom after the former midfielder overheard the defender complaining about his playing time.
Pique and Xavi played together during Barcelona’s most successful period, winning three Champions League titles and five La Ligas in the same side.
However these days their relationship is very different, with the legendary midfielder in charge of the current Barca team, that still includes the 35-year-old defender.
Pique is now behind new signings Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde in the pecking order, as well as Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo, which makes him fifth choice.
And that’s why he hasn’t played much though so far in the campaign, being involved in just two games across all competitions, equalling 135 minutes of football.
According to SPORT, the former Manchester United defender was heard complaining about that lack of game time by his manager, when Barca lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Having overheard the conversation, Xavi is said to have replied along the lines of, “And you are going to play even less now,” not exactly a ringing endorsement of a healthy relationship.
Pique is actually the club’s highest earner this season, due to previous years when he’s had his wages cut or deferred, and he is due to earn €52 million, which will mainly be made as a substitute.
The defender is still one of four captains at the club, but they’re hoping to have phased all of them out next summer, with the manager having their four replacements in mind already.
And the troublesome centre back has previously said that he would retire if he felt he was becoming a bit part player at the club.
His contract runs until 2024 but, according to one source, the club and Xavi are hoping he sticks to his former promise and retires when the campaign ends.
Even before the season, reports claimed that the club were hoping he would hang up his boots so they could avoid paying the huge sum.
And it hasn’t been a particularly good time in the past few months for the World Cup winner, who has gone through a very public break up with Shakira.
The legendary player was understandably upset at finding out that the club he originally joined in their youth academy, before returning after a move to England, no longer wanted him.
He was also recorded by fans listening to his former partner’s music in his car, following their break up a month before.
SPORTbible Stories is the brand-new podcast from the SPORT team at LADbible. The first episode features a chat with former Burnley manager Sean Dyche as he opens up on his departure from Turf Moor, what the future holds and the amazing story of the spin wheel for fines while in charge of the Clarets. You can watch the first episode here.

Gerard Pique, Xavi, Barcelona, La Liga


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