BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has gone on the attack.
He criticised the club hierarchy after Barcelona’s 2-0 weekend win at Getafe in the Spanish league, unhappy with what he saw as an attempt to create a conflict with players.
“We have to all be united, and when I say everyone I mean the fans and the executive board,” Pique said. “We know how the club works … we know who writes some articles even though they don’t sign them with their names.”
He did not elaborate.
Pique appeared to be responding to a recent article in Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo that listed all the ways Barcelona’s star players had allegedly earned privileges and even dictated club decisions, including Barcelona’s failed attempt to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
“We don’t want a fight. We want to go out there and win,” Pique said. “We hope that nobody tries to provoke fights that don’t exist and that we don’t want. We must back the club. If not, we will only hurt each other.”
Lionel Messi has also expressed his doubts as to whether the club had done all they could to bring back Neymar.
Pique is one of Barcelona’s pillars and a fan favourite with 505 appearances over nine seasons, including three Champions League titles and eight league titles. A World Cup winner with Spain, he has said he may consider running for club president at Barcelona after his playing days are over.
The spat comes as Barcelona prepares for their Champions League match against Inter Milan tomorrow.
Meanwhile, World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe’s declaration that she could one day play in Spain has not gone unnoticed.
The 34-year-old Rapinoe was awarded FIFA player of the year last week for leading the United States (US) women’s national team to the World Cup title in July. Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the men’s award.
Rapinoe, whose six goals earned her the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, told beIN SPORTS earlier this month that “maybe at the end of my career, I’ll get over to Spain”.
“The way Barcelona plays … is so beautiful and inspiring. It’s just a joy to watch,” she added.