- Gerard Pique has missed out on a career as a footballer. The Barcelona centre-back, who will call time on his career this week, was sent off without playing at Osasuna (1-2) on Tuesday for insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano.
There are players who leave the world of football with a title, at the top. There are other players who turn their back on their favourite sport in complete anonymity.
And then there are those, like Zinedine Zidane or Ronan Le Crom, who say goodbye to the game with a red card. In the World Cup final, in Lorient in a match without play or sometimes by not playing.
Gerard Piqué (35) is in that third category. Three days after receiving a standing ovation from the Camp Nou, where he will not be playing again, during the 2-0 win over Almeria, the Barcelona centre-back, who announced his retirement last week, had the opportunity to finish on a high note at Osasuna (1-2) on Tuesday. The former Manchester United player clearly refused to take advantage of this opportunity for unfortunate reasons.
It’s not just a matter of the players getting a chance to play, it’s also a matter of the referee, Jesus Gil Manzano, not getting a chance to play. The Catalan, who came on as a substitute at kick-off, was denied a start by referee Jesus Gil Manzano, who at half-time verbally abused the man in black after Robert Lewandowski was sent off for two yellow cards. “You’re the referee who has fucked us up the most, by far. It’s a fucking disgrace. I shit on your motherf*cker,” Pique blurted out in comments written by the 38-year-old in his post-match report.
A first presidential gesture
It was a botched exit that slightly damaged the player’s image… whose motives could be elsewhere. According to Sport, Pique calculated his move perfectly by sending a message to the referees but above all to the Barcelona fans. The four-time Champions League winner has never hidden his desire to be at the helm of the club in the future. The sports media even talk about his “first move as president”. Joan Laporta has a lot to live up to…