Thursday, 3 July 2008

Pique presented

Catalan central defender Gerard Piqué (21), who signed a four-year contract in May (read more here), has today been officially presented as new player of Barcelona. At a press conference Piqué showed his absolute satisfaction with the transfer: "I'm returning home to realize my dream: playing with Barcelona. It's an honour to be able to say that I am a Barcelona player. The desire to play for this club is something I don't have with any other club. When you leave, there's a risk you won't be able to return, but I always kep the door open and the opportunity has come. From the first contacts, my clear wish has been to come back. I've always been a culé and this is a dream come true. I would like to retire here.

I nevertheless don't regret my years in Manchester. I have learned a lot and I can only say positive things about the club and about manager Alex Ferguson. Now it will be an honour to have Pep Guardiola, who has given so many moments of joy to the Barcelona fans, as a coach. I will try to learn from him. To be able to play again with players like Milito, who I know from my time on loan in Zaragoza, and Messi, who I know from my time here, will allow me to adapt a little quicker to the team. I have a great relationship with both and the two learned me a lot.

I don't want to prove anything so I'm coming here without any pressure but with a lot of motivation and ambition. I want to help the club winning trophies. This club means a lot to me and I think that with the new coach and the transfers that they are doing, we will be able to stop the bad times."

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola said that he was pleased with the arrival of the central defender: "We are convinced that we have done a great transfer. Piqué is a player with excellent physical abilities, a quality player with a good long ball, who above all that knows the club inside out. The reports of my assistent Tito Vilanova, who has been Piqué's coach some years ago, were decisive in our decision to take the player into consideration. His years in Manchester have confirmed the expectations the club had when he was part of the youth academy. But a player can always get better and we will try to make sure he'll keep on growing here. I also plan to use Piqué more as central defender than as defensive midfielder."

Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain stressed the fact that the player really wanted to return to Barcelona: "Gerard Piqué has shown the clear will to come back and he has done everything that was possible to achieve that. When he left, we kept on following him closely and we always received good scouting reports about him. For a player to return the circumstances have to be right and this time they were. We also have to thank Manchester that they have listened to the player and that they didn't play it hard, despite the fact that they had better offers for him."

Read the complete Gerard Piqué transfer story from the first rumours to the official presentation

Look back at the presentations of Keita, Cáceres and Alves


Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Gerard!

Although I wonder how he feels now Marquez stays (which was still somewhat unclear when he signed) and we meanwhile also signed Caceres and soon maybe Henrique.

Anonymous said...

Marquez is not long term. Henrique, Pique and Caceres to replace the old guard in the coming future.

Having seen Pique play for Man Utd a couple of times, think he looks very very promising. Him and Henrique at centreback, Caceres on left, Alves bombing down right? I dunno. Could work..

Anonymous said...

I kinda feel sorry for Pique, to be presented the day after Alves seems rather anticlimactic. But it's still nice to have him back home nontheless.

pep said...

EFE, 19/02/2009:

En marzo de 2008 ya supo que abandonaría el United. "La cosa no podía seguir así", recuerda. Su presencia en el equipo era testimonial. Surgió el interés del Barça. "Entonces, le dije a mi representante que no mirase otra cosa. Si llamaba el Barça, lo demás no interesaba. Era lo que siempre había soñado".

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