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Gerard Piqué

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Gerard Piqué
Gerard Piqué 2017.jpg
Piqué with Spain in 2017
Personal information
Full name Gerard Piqué Bernabéu[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-02) 2 February 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Barcelona
Number 3
Youth career
1997–2004 Barcelona
2004–2005 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Manchester United 12 (0)
2006–2007 Zaragoza (loan) 22 (2)
2008– Barcelona 255 (22)
National team
2002–2003 Spain U16 7 (2)
2004 Spain U17 8 (3)
2006 Spain U19 8 (3)
2007 Spain U20 5 (1)
2006–2008 Spain U21 12 (1)
2009– Spain 94 (5)
2004– Catalonia 9 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:22, 19 November 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2017

Gerard Piqué Bernabéu (Catalan: [ʒəˈɾar piˈke i βərnəˈβeu]; born 2 February 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team.

A product of Barça's cantera, La Masia, Piqué initially left the club for Manchester United in 2004, where he remained for four years, before returning to Barça under Pep Guardiola's leadership, helping the club win trebles in 2008–09 and 2014–15. He is one of four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, the others being Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto'o.[3]

Piqué has also represented Spain, making his debut on 11 February 2009. He played an integral role in the Spain team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Barcelona, Catalonia,[2] Piqué started his career in FC Barcelona's youth teams as a defensive midfielder, but before he signed his first professional contract with the club, he decided to join Manchester United. The Premier League side did not pay a fee for Piqué as he was too young to have a professional contract.

Manchester United[edit]

Piqué made his debut for Manchester United in October 2004, as a late replacement for John O'Shea in a 3–0 League Cup victory at Crewe Alexandra as a centre back.[4] He made his full debut on 29 March 2006 against West Ham United, in a Premier League match at Old Trafford, playing at right back, as Gary Neville was unavailable through injury.[5]

His performances, most notably in the reserve team, earned him a new contract, which he signed in February 2005 to run until the summer of 2009. On 4 August 2006, however, La Liga side Real Zaragoza secured Piqué on a season-long loan. The conditions of the loan involved Piqué having to feature in at least 20 games for the Aragonese club,[6] which he did, as he made 22 first team appearances in a successful spell, alongside Argentine Gabriel Milito, either as a centre back or a defensive midfielder.

On 5 May 2007, it was announced that Piqué would be staying at Old Trafford for the following season. Sir Alex Ferguson had intended to assess Piqué's form at La Romareda on 6 May, prior to a meeting where the two parties would discuss Piqué's future prospects with the club. However, Ferguson was unable to attend on account of airline difficulties.[7]

Piqué's return to Old Trafford saw him make nine league appearances during the 2007–08 season. He scored on his first start in the UEFA Champions League, a 4–0 home win against Dynamo Kyiv on 7 November 2007, as Piqué scored the first of Manchester United's four goals in that match.[8] In doing so, he became the 450th player to score at least one goal for the club.[9] His second goal for the club also came in the Champions League, in an away match to Roma on 12 December 2007.[10]

Return to Barcelona[edit]

Piqué during the 2008 Joan Gamper Trophy.

On 27 May 2008, Piqué signed a four-year contract with Barcelona, with a €5 million buy-out clause.[11] Barcelona paid a £5 million fee for the player.[12] He expressed his joy at re-signing with his boyhood club, although he admitted he had enjoyed his spell at Manchester United:

"I am very happy to be back, I didn't think I would be here again but this is very good for me. Manchester United is a great club and I enjoyed winning things. To play with world class players has helped me and now I want to continue this at Barça."

Piqué's first goal for Barcelona came in the club's 2–5 Champions League group stage win at Sporting CP on 26 November 2008.[13][14] His first domestic goal for the club followed two months later, on 29 January 2009, in a Copa del Rey match against local rivals Espanyol. The goal, which came from a corner kick in the 57th minute, turned out to be the game winner in a 3–2 victory for Barcelona.[15][16] On 2 May 2009, Piqué scored Barcelona's sixth goal in a 2–6 El Clásico win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[17]

On 13 May 2009, he picked up the first trophy of his Barcelona career as he helped his club to a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey Final.[18] Three days later, Barcelona clinched the league title after Real Madrid lost 3–2 to Villarreal, with two games left in the season.[19]

On 27 May 2009, Piqué played against his former club Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League Final, which Barcelona won 2–0,[20] completing a historic treble.[21]

On 19 December 2009, Piqué was in the Barcelona team which beat Argentine club Estudiantes 2–1 in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup Final. Piqué assisted Pedro's 89th minute equalising goal which took the match to extra-time.[22]

Piqué warming up for Barcelona in August 2014 before the fixture against Napoli.

On 26 February 2010, Piqué signed a contract extension to keep him at Barcelona until at least summer 2015.[23][24] On 28 April 2010, Piqué scored in Barcelona's Champions League semi-final second leg against Internazionale, though his side went out 3–2 on aggregate.[25]

On 28 May 2011, Piqué played in his second Champions League Final. Barça defeated Manchester United 3–1 at Wembley Stadium to lift the European Cup for the second time in three seasons. On 1 May 2013, Piqué scored an own goal for Bayern Munich in Camp Nou, making the score 2–0 to Bayern. Later, Bayern went on to win 3–0 and 7–0 on aggregate.[26]

On 20 May 2014, Piqué signed a contract extension with Barcelona, keeping him at the club until 2019.[27]

On 6 June 2015, Piqué started for Barça in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final, as the club won its fifth European Cup by beating Juventus at Berlin's Olympiastadion.[28] This made Barcelona the first club in history to win the treble of domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup twice.[29] Piqué, Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves and Pedro are the only players to have been a part of both treble-winning teams.[29]

International career[edit]

Youth teams[edit]

Piqué was a member of the Spain under-19 side that won the 2006 U-19 European Championship in Poland.[30] In a 2–1 final win against Scotland, Piqué put in a strong performance in defence, hitting the crossbar with a header, and also providing his team's second goal for striker Alberto Bueno.[31]

Subsequently, he played in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting all six of Spain's matches and scoring a goal in the team's come-from-behind 4–2 victory over Brazil in the round of 16.[32] However, Piqué missed the deciding penalty in the shoot-out against the Czech Republic and Spain were eliminated at the quarter-final stage.[33]

Senior side[edit]

Piqué in action for Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013 with then-FC Barcelona teammate Neymar.

On 6 February 2009, Piqué was called up to the senior squad for the friendly against England on 11 February.[34] He played the entire match in a 2–0 win, in Seville.[35] In his second match as an international on 28 March 2009, he was called up as a replacement for injured teammate Carles Puyol and he scored the only goal in Spain's victory in the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Turkey at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.[36] Four days later, he also started in Istanbul in a 2–1 win, also in the group stage.[37]

Piqué made his tournament debut for Spain at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, starting in four of the team's five matches as La Roja finished in third place.

Piqué was Spain's first-choice centre back playing alongside Puyol at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, starting all seven matches as Spain won the tournament, defeating the Netherlands 1–0 in the final.[38] Piqué's partnership with Puyol saw Spain concede only twice in seven World Cup matches and keep four consecutive clean sheets in the knockout stage. In Spain's 1–0 group stage defeat to Switzerland, just before Gelson Fernandes scored the only goal of the game, Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok tumbled over Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and accidentally kicked Piqué in the face, knocking him over and leaving him with a nasty cut beside his right eye.[39]

Piqué (back row, first right) lining up before the UEFA Euro 2012 Final against Italy.

Piqué played every minute of Spain's UEFA Euro 2012 campaign, partnering Sergio Ramos in the centre of defence. He successfully converted the team's third penalty in a semi-final shoot-out win over Portugal. In the final, Spain recorded a fifth consecutive clean sheet in a 4–0 win over Italy. Piqué was one of three Spanish defenders included in UEFA's Team of the Tournament as La Roja conceded only one goal in six matches.

At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, Piqué was the third of Spain's seven successful takers in a 7–6 shootout win over Italy at the semi-final stage. On 30 June 2013, Piqué was sent off during the final against Brazil. He received a straight red card in the 68th minute for a violent tackle on recently signed Barcelona teammate Neymar. The match finished 3–0 to Brazil, ending Spain's world record 29 match unbeaten run in competitive internationals.[40]

Piqué became unpopular with some elements of the Spanish support, due to his taunting of Barcelona's rivals Real Madrid. A friendly against England in November 2015 was moved from Real's Bernabeu Stadium to Alicante in order to avoid crowd abuse towards him.[41]

At the UEFA Euro 2016 opening group game for Spain, Piqué scored his fifth goal for his country, a late header in a 1–0 victory against the Czech Republic.[42]

Style of play[edit]

Piqué is a modern defender, who combines strength with good technique and passing. Due to his height and physical attributes, he is good in the air. Although he is primarily deployed as a centre back, he is a tactically versatile player who is capable of playing as a defensive midfielder; he has also been deployed as a sweeper on occasion, showing similarities to German legend, Franz Beckenbauer, thus earning the sobriquet "Piquénbauer".[43] He has also occasionally been known to use his height as an additional attacking threat by advancing into more offensive positions.[44][45]

Personal life[edit]

Piqué was raised in a Catalan family. His father, Joan, is a businessman, and his mother, Montserrat, is the director of a prestigious spinal injuries hospital in Barcelona. He has a younger brother, Marc.[46][47] His grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, is a former vice-president of Barcelona.[48] During the controversial 2017 independence referendum in Catalonia, he was seen by many as one of the public faces of the Catalan side of the argument, voting and tweeting his support in Catalan.[49] He subsequently faced backlash from some Spanish fans for his support of the Catalan independence referendum.[50]

Since early 2011, Piqué has been in a relationship with Colombian singer Shakira.[51][52] They met when he appeared in the music video for her single "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[53] Piqué and Shakira share the same birthday but she is 10 years his senior. The couple have two children, Milan and Sasha.[54][55]

Piqué was the face of Mango's men's line HE for four consecutive campaign seasons between 2011 and 2012.[56][57][58] In 2012, he lent his voice to the Catalan version of The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! as the Pirate King.[59]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 22 November 2017[60][61][62]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester United 2004–05 Premier League 0 0 1 0 1 0 1[a] 0 0 0 3 0
2005–06 3 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 7 0
2006–07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007–08 9 0 0 0 1 0 3[a] 2 0 0 13 2
Total 12 0 3 0 4 0 4 2 0 0 23 2
Zaragoza (loan) 2006–07 La Liga 22 2 6 1 28 3
Barcelona 2008–09 La Liga 25 1 6 1 14[a] 1 0 0 45 3
2009–10 32 2 1 0 12[b] 2 4[c] 0 49 4
2010–11 31 3 7 0 12[a] 1 1[d] 0 51 4
2011–12 22 2 8 0 5[a] 0 3[e] 0 38 2
2012–13 28 2 4 1 10[a] 0 2[d] 0 44 3
2013–14 26 2 2 0 9[a] 2 2[d] 0 39 4
2014–15 27 5 6 1 11[a] 1 44 7
2015–16 30 2 5 2 7[f] 1 4[g] 0 46 5
2016–17 25 2 7 0 8[a] 1 1[d] 0 41 3
2017–18 9 1 0 0 4[a] 0 2[d] 0 15 1
Total 255 22 46 5 92 9 19 0 412 36
Career total 289 24 55 6 4 0 96 11 19 0 463 41
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j All appearances in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, eleven appearances and two goals in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ Two appearances in Supercopa de España, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  4. ^ a b c d e Appearances in Supercopa de España
  5. ^ Two appearances in Supercopa de España, one appearance in FIFA Club World Cup
  6. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, six appearances in UEFA Champions League
  7. ^ Two appearances in Supercopa de España, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup

International[edit]

As of match played 14 November 2017[63]
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain 2009 13 4
2010 16 0
2011 8 0
2012 11 0
2013 11 0
2014 6 0
2015 8 0
2016 12 1
2017 9 0
Total 94 5

International goals[edit]

As of match played 6 October 2017. Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Piqué goal.[64]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 28 March 2009 Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid, Spain 2  Turkey 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 12 August 2009 Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia 8  Macedonia 2–2 3–2 Friendly
3 5 September 2009 Estadio Riazor, A Coruña, Spain 9  Belgium 3–0 5–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 14 October 2009 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina 12  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–0 5–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 13 June 2016 Stadium Municipal, Toulouse, France 78  Czech Republic 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2016

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Piqué celebrating victory after receiving his medal for winning the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final.
Manchester United
Barcelona[2]

International[edit]

Piqué with the Henri Delaunay Trophy in 2012
Spain Youth
Spain

Individual[edit]

Decorations[edit]

References[edit]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes cup competitions such as the FA Cup and Copa del Rey

External links[edit]