Gerard Pique has rubbished reports that he and Barcelona’s outgoing coach, Pep Guardiola do not see eye to eye.
“I have never had a problem with Guardiola and we have always said things face to face when we had to” said Pique in response to rumours suggesting he was happy to see Barca’s most successful ever coach leaving the club.
Guardiola has led Barca to three La Liga crowns, a Copa del Rey and two Champions Leagues in his four year spell at the Catalan giants. Pique has become a key part of Guardiola’s team since joining from Manchester United at the same time as the coach was appointed in 2008.
Recent reports that the two have always had a frosty relationship have been dismissed by the defender, who praised Guardiola’s contribution over the last four years.
Pique described the way things work “at big clubs” as explaining why Guardiola is leaving. “At a big club like this, you know you are just passing through, but I want to stay here for many years.” “If Guardiola is not staying it is because there is something that made him realise that it was time to go.”
Pique was also keen to praise Tot Vilanova who will replace Guardiola next season. Vilanova has been Guardiola’s assistant but will now step up to the top job next year and the move was, according to Pique, welcomed amongst the Barca squad.
“Inside the dressing room we were not surprised that Tito Vilanova will be the new coach”. Barca, and Pique will be looking to end the Guardiola era on a high with victory in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on Friday night. Win or Lose though, Guardiola will be remembered as a Barcelona legend and Vilanova will have quite an act to follow. The backing of the likes of Pique will be essential.