In an important disclosure, SPORT asserts that manager Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona and one of his captains, Gerard Pique, are not getting along.
The experienced defender has struggled to get into games this season as the management chose Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, Jules Kounde, and Ronald Araujo instead of him.
Pique has essentially dropped to Spotify Camp Nou’s fifth-choice center back and has only appeared twice in all competitions, playing a total of 135 minutes.
The 35-year-old appears to be becoming increasingly irritated, and according to the source, Pique was whining about his lack of playing time in the locker room last week following the team’s defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
When Xavi overheard the center-back speaking, he stopped him and said to the seasoned club captain, “And you are going to play even less now.”
According to the source, the two Barcelona greats’ relationship is currently rather strained.
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This season, Xavi has been gradually but steadily replacing the old guard at Spotify Camp Nou. As the manager builds a team for the future, Pique has slipped down the lineup, while teammate captain Jordi Alba also finds himself out of the starting XI.
And because of his enormous salary (€52 million for the current season), Pique, who barely ever plays, has become an even bigger financial burden for the team.
So much so, the story continues, that the defender honors his earlier declarations that he wanted to retire at the team and chooses to leave at the conclusion of the current season.
The Blaugrana would experience significant financial relief from such a transfer, which would also pave the way for the team’s future. Club sources are quoted as stating concerning Pique’s prior declarations of retirement, “We hope he keeps his word.”
Given how reliable the other defenders have been thus far this season, there is little possibility that Pique’s circumstances will change from where they are now. Therefore, it will be interesting to observe how things progress from here.