Barcelona have just signed Gerard Pique to an extension which has valued him at £440m, the most expensive defender in the world, ahead of his compatriot, Sergio Ramos. Only Lionel Messi is priced higher at £700m and this is definitely a ploy to fend off any interests from other European sides until the end of the Spaniard’s contract.
Pique is a captain and a loyal Catalan whose his heart tied to the club. He struggled to make it in the English game while playing for Manchester United and many fans and coaches wrote him off as a bust. With just 12 league appearances over four years under Alex Ferguson, his career came under a lot of scrutiny and criticism.
Returning back to Spain and reuniting with his boyhood club was the best decision he could have taken and looked back it surely has paid off.
Pique will go down in history as a Barcelona legend having won a staggering 25 trophies with the club. At 30-years-old he is still a key figure in the squad and is almost irreplaceable in the current climate. The Catalan side has seen their fair share of managerial changes over the past decade and yet, Pique has never been dropped to a minor role.
Blessed with impressive technical abilities, the Spanish superstar is very skilled at leading the Barcelona lineup from the back and is always an aerial threat offensively. This makes him one of the rare talents in world football who can perform on both ends of the pitch.
The La Liga giants who are currently right at the top of the league, are set to lose their other veteran defender, Javier Mascherano by the end of January to the Chinese side, Hebei China Fortune.
The dual pairing of Pique and Mascherano has been one of the most dominant and consistent forces of the squad over the past few seasons, but ever since the arrival of Samuel Umtiti, Mascherano has found regular game time hard to come by. It looks like the Frenchman has snatched away the first team spot, and Barcelona have already prepared for the Argentine’s departure by signing, the 6 feet 5 inches Colombian defender, Yerry Mina last week.
Tying down Piques services are just another step in the right direction now that the club is looking well motivated to overtake their rivals, Real Madrid as the European champions. Barcelona are set to face Chelsea in their round of 16 Champions League fixture next month and are coasting through the league this season with a 9 point lead at the top.
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