In a recent post on Instagram (translated by the Daily Mail), Chelsea winger Pedro has hailed his former Barcelona colleague Gerard Pique as the best active centre-back in world football. He made a post on his official Instagram account which stated (translated by the Daily Mail),
‘I want to explain to all my supporters that on yesterday’s press conference I did not say that Ramos and Van Dijk are the two best centre-backs in the world, as several media has said.
‘I answered to the question of what differences I see between them, so I talked about their skills and said that both of them are in good shape.
‘But if you are asking about who is the best, if I have to select only one I would said Pique because I think he is the best active nowadays. The best centre-back I’ve ever played with is Puyol and the one I’ve liked the most.
‘I want to explain that because there are a lot of commentaries about this issue and does not fit to what I really said. Now it’s time to focus on tonight’s game.’
Pique’s Winning Record At The Nou Camp
Pique has enjoyed a highly successful career at the Nou Camp since making a high-profile switch from Manchester United in the summer of 2008. The 32-year-old has gone on to become a world champion with Spain and has also won the UEFA Champions League three times with the Catalans.
He is a serial winner and has a proven track record in European football. However, the Spaniard has spent most of his playing career at Catalunya so one can question whether he has what it takes to succeed away from his homeland. Pique has also had the honour and privilege of playing alongside Carlos Puyol at the Nou Camp. Hence, it is no surprise that he has found so much success in the Spanish top-flight.
Is Pique The Best Centre-Back In World Football?
However, the Spanish talent is nowhere near his best these days with father time catching up to him with each passing season. At 32, he still has a few years left in him to play at a high level. Pique will go down in history as one of the best defenders of this generation, but there is no hiding from the fact that he is way past his prime at this moment.
To his credit, the former Manchester United defensive ace is still quite a potent threat in the opposition half. He managed to score seven goals and grab four assists in 52 appearances for Ernesto Valverde’s side last season. However, on the defensive end, he was far from impressive as he only averaged 1.2 tackles, 1.0 interception and 4.2 clearances per game in the La Liga last season.
Comparatively, Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk has fared better defensively as he was voted the PFA Player of the Year last season. Thus, it makes no sense to label Pique as the best centre-back in world football right now.
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