Xavi let Gerard Pique onto the pitch in the second half of the match against Villarreal. The central defender had to face the accompaniment of whistles every time he made contact with the ball. Although the veteran hasn’t impressed in recent times with his form, the coach took it in stride.
- FC Barcelona smashed Villarreal (3:0) with a heavily changed lineup
- Gerard Pique entered the field for the last quarter of an hour, and the fans greeted him with thunderous whistles
- Xavi took his charge to the defense after the match. He stressed that the defender is an example in the locker room
“Even when Pique is not in form, he is an example in the locker room,” he said.
FC Barcelona responded well after their recent defeats, beating Villarreal by as much as 3:0. Xavi Hernandez put on several substitutes and the game began to look different from the get-go. With the rematch against Inter Milan, Gerard Pique missed the chance to perform in the most important matches. Nevertheless, when the result was already decided, the coach introduced the central defender for the last quarter of an hour of the match. It was not a pleasant experience for the stopper, who had to face the whistles of his own fans every time he made contact with the ball. The 35-year-old once said that the whistles and booing at the Santiago Bernabeu were a symphony for him. It’s hard to suppose that he would similarly receive such behavior from his own fans, who are unhappy with his disposition, as well as his contract situation. The player was defended by Xavi himself.
– We need to be united. Both fans and players – this is the time to unite. I can only comment on Gerard Pique. Even when he’s not in good form, in the locker room he’s an example – and that’s with a capital P. He doesn’t create problems when he’s not playing, ever. He is an example and one of the captains. We need unity. If Pique wasn’t an example, I wouldn’t have given up. But he is. In the locker room we are like a family. We are a fantastic group and have a very good atmosphere. That’s the most important thing,” the coach said at the post-match conference.
Pique has made a total of seven appearances in all games this season. Especially in the Champions League, he did not leave a good impression.