23 May 2012

Piqué as excited as in 2009

The centre back is fully motivated and looking forward to another Copa del Rey Final against Athletic Bilbao.

He describes Guardiola’s departure as ‘traumatic’, because of everything the outgoing manager has taught him.

Gerard Piqué is about to feature in his third Copa del Rey Final, and reckons he is looking forward to it as much he was in 2008/09. “I am just as excited as I was when I had just arrived back here. The cup final is always a huge motivator. There are things that make it a bit more special, but just because it’s a final we give it special treatment … It’s a great day of football both for the fans and the players”.

Asked about the 2009 final in Mestalla, Piqué expects “a similar match. With Bielsa, Athletic Club like to push forward and it’ll be a very intense game. I don’t see a favourite, it’s 50-50. They’ll have a lot to say and we’ll have to fight very hard to win”. His own job is likely to be that of marking Llorente, on which he commented that “we have to make sure that the second touch is always ours, because he’ll certainly be fighting to get it. We have to be careful with set pieces and watch out for Susaeta and Muniain coming down the wings, and stop them from shooting”.

Piqué also spoke about the comments by the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, who is in favour of the game being suspended if the fans jeer the Spanish national anthem. “The fans will act with respect, they have the right to express themselves” he said. “The country has more important problems to worry about than things like this”.

Whatever happens at the Calderón, the Catalan feels that “we have had a very good season, we’ve won three titles, although we were missing luck at key moments … On a personal level, I’d give myself lower marks than for other seasons. But there’s still Friday to fight for and after that there’s the European Championship. In football you can only look ahead … I have found it hard to get into the team due to a number of factors”.

Many have commented that relations have soured between Piqué and Pep Guardiola, but the player himself shuns such suggestions. “His departure is traumatic for me. I feel a much better player thanks to him and the whole team has learned a lot. He’ll leave a void, but we’ll carry on with Tito and we’ll do well. That’s football, eras come to an end”.

Happy with new kit

Gerard Piqué was speaking to the media just after the new kit for the 2012/12 was revealed. Asked about the new uniform, he said “I have tried it on and I like it. It’s modern, different and very nicely designed”. (via FCBarcelona.com)