Tuesday, 30 January 2018

'It's Barca Or Nothing', Says Gerard Pique As He Signs New Barca Deal Until 2022

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has now signed the new long-term contract that he agreed with the club last month during a special ceremony at Camp Nou on Monday.
Barca announced on 18th January that a four-and-a-half year deal was in place for Pique to extend his stay at the club to the end of the 2021/22 season.

The long-serving center back, who first joined the club's youth team in 1997 at the age of 10, has now formally put pen to paper to tie everything up and make the new contract official until the summer of 2022.

The Spain international will be 35 when this contract extension expires and insists he only ever saw his future at the Nou Camp, saying it is 'Barca or nothing'.

Pique's new deal includes a buyout clause of £441.6m (N223bn), but that is academic to a player who never wants to leave.
Speaking to reporters after signing his new Barcelona contract which keeps him at the club until 2022, Pique said:
"I'm very happy to have renewed my contract and I hope it will not be the last. 

"If I complete my contract I will have been at Barca for 14 years, plus another six or seven in the youth teams. 

"I've been a socio (member) since I was born, Barca feels like home, it's the club of my life. I always felt that I was going to stay and I never thought about anything else. 

"And I hope to stay for life. Obviously I've thought about my family and my kids, who don't want to move. But in the career I've had here, we've almost always won something and we've competed until the end. 

"And I hope we continue being competitive until I retire. I'm not interested in playing for another team. If I wasn't wearing the Barca shirt, I would have given up. I play football because I play for Barca. It's Barca or nothing."
Pique also says he does not regret his comments mocking Barcelona's rivals Espanyol after eliminating them from the King's Cup last week, stoking up the rivalry ahead of another visit to Cornella on Sunday in La Liga.

Barcelona beat Espanyol 2-0 at the Nou Camp last Thursday to qualify for the semi-finals (2-1 on aggregate) and Pique repeatedly referred to the visitors as "Espanyol de Cornella" when speaking to the media afterwards.

 The defender was referring to the location of the club's RCDE Stadium, which is on the outskirts of Cornella, where Espanyol moved in 2009 after playing at the Olympic Stadium in the city of Barcelona.

Espanyol made a formal complaint about Pique's comments and the Spanish football federation's anti-violence committee are investigating the matter.
"I don't regret it (making his comments) and I don't think today's the day's the day to talk about it. On Sunday we will play there and in the mixed zone I will give you the headlines if you want," said Pique.

"I am not saying this to upset people, I am just stating a fact. Espanyol play in Cornella."
Pique has never been shy of speaking his mind and previously it may have cost him the chance to be one of Barca's four club captains.

With Javier Mascherano's departure to Hebei Fortune, Pique is expected to be chosen as a replacement for the Argentine.
"I have always seen myself as a captain," added Pique.

"Now I see it differently. I am different in the sense I get involved more with things and make more noise. I understand the dressing room prefers another profile of player.

"I try to be an example, but everyone has defects and in some respects I am not an example. I am how I am. I think I have improved in some areas, but I will keep being myself."
Having come up through the youth ranks with Barcelona, Pique returned to his home-town club in 2008 after four years on Manchester United's books and in the last decade has won 24 titles with the Catalan giants.

The former Barca youth player - who began his junior career in 1997, aged 10 - moved to Old Trafford in 2004 before spending time on loan at Real Zaragoza.

He rejoined his boyhood club under Pep Guardiola in 2008. At Barca he has scored 37 goals from 425 appearances and has won three Champions Leagues, six La Liga titles, five Copa del Reys, five Spanish Super Cups, three Club World Cups and two European Super Cups.

The defender also won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and the European Championship in 2012.

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