Gerard Pique slaps Barcelona over Lionel Messi’s burofax saga – and defends another 50 percent pay cut
Gerard Pique makes a case for Barcelona leaders over their handling of Lionel Messi’s burofax – and claims dressing room united behind his decision on a 50 percent pay cut for his new contract
- Barcelona captain Lionel Messi submitted a transfer request this year via Burofax
- Gerard Pique has condemned the Catalans for their handling of the Messi saga
- Pique also defended his new contract with the club with a 50 percent pay cut
- The defender signed a contract because the Barcelona players claimed they would not sign deals
- The 33-year-old claims that the Barcelona locker room is currently still unified
Gerard Pique slammed Barcelona for the way they nearly let Lionel Messi leave the club this summer, revealing that he had begged the Catalans captain to stay on.
Messi shocked the world when he submitted a transfer request to the LaLiga club via Burofax in August, citing poor leadership of the Barcelona administration as one of the many reasons he wanted to leave the Camp Nou.
While the Argentine forward eventually decided to stay with Barcelona, Spanish defender Pique – who passed through the club’s La Masia academy along with Messi – revealed a conversation with the 33-year-old about his future.
Gerard Pique (left) claimed he helped convince Lionel Messi (right) to stay in Barcelona
The Barcelona captain (above) stunned the world by submitting a transfer request this summer
Pique told La Vanguardia, as quoted by Marca: ‘As president I would have acted differently. I asked Leo to stay on.
‘I didn’t have much to do with him those days because I thought it was a very personal decision. I just said, “Leo, it’s been a year, and then new people are coming.”
“ I wondered, how come the best player in history, of whom we’ve been incredibly lucky, gets up one day and sends a burofax because he feels they aren’t listening to him? Everything is too shocking. What is going on?
Leo deserves everything. The new stadium and its sponsor should have his name (on it). ‘
Pique (left) hit Barcelona’s treatment of Messi (center) during the tumultuous summer
In an interview with Goal in September, Messi publicly criticized Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu for failed promises about the team. The 57-year-old Barça chief has since announced that he will not be re-elected in 2021.
Although Pique was recently off the pitch himself in his own controversy at the Nou Camp when he signed a new contract with the club with a 50 percent pay cut.
According to reports in Spain, Bartomeu wants to cut 25 percent of the club’s payroll in his last few months as president to help Barcelona get through the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pique claims the locker room is still happy, despite controversy over his new contract with Barcelona
The defender was one of four first-team players to sign a new contract with a pay cut
Several Barcelona players signed a letter saying they will not negotiate a new contract with the current board, although Pique still went ahead and signed the new four-year deal until 2024.
Marc Andre-Ter Stegen, Clement Lenglet and Frenkie De Jong also closed long-term deals at Camp Nou this week.
Pique, one of the four Barcelona captains, said the dressing room is still together and there are no issues with his new contract.
The 33-year-old added: ‘As captain, I defended the interests of the team and made the decision to sign it. And here we are a unified dressing room.
Some Barcelona players claimed they didn’t want to negotiate with the board, but Pique did
‘Then they said the dressing room was broken and I don’t know why. They said it when many players were with their national teams. In a personal capacity, each player is free to accept the club’s proposal voluntarily.
The club informed me and other players that the club will suffer a lot financially from the pandemic and in that situation Barça is worse than anyone else.
‘Barça gave me everything, so I made myself available to them. They told me that all the money I can give up this year will be raised in the future. We made the figures and I suggested an amount. ‘
Pique (left) and Messi (right) passed through Barcelona’s La Masia academy at the same time
Pique first joined the club when he was ten years old, but left Camp Nou as a teenager to join Manchester United in 2004.
After four years in the Premier League, the defender returned to Barcelona in 2008, approaching 550 games for the Spanish club.
Pique has won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies during his career with the Catalans.