Who is Gerard Piqué?
Gerard Pique is a Spanish professional footballer who was a part of the teams that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. He plays as a centre-back for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team and is one of the four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, the others being Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto'o. He was interested in football from a young age and began his youth career in 1997 when he entered the FC Barcelona academy as a ten year old. Energetic, focused and talented, he soon matured into a young player who displayed great potential to be a future football star. With time he passed through the various youth levels and was especially skilled at adapting to different positions on the field. He also gained a reputation for scoring goals despite his defensive position, a trait that would help a lot in his future professional career. He made his debut for Manchester United in 2004 as a replacement for John O'Shea. A few years later Gerard got an offer from FC Barcelona and it became a turning point in his career. He has also represented Spain, making his debut in 2009
Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Gerard Piqué Bernabeu on 2 February 1987, in Barcelona, Spain, to Joan Piqué and Montserrat Bernabeu. His father is a business man while his mother is the director of a prestigious spinal injuries hospital in Barcelona. He has one brother.
He developed an interest in football early on and began his youth career in 1997 when he entered the FC Barcelona academy as a ten year old and joined the youngest boys' team at the club at that time (Alevín B). He was among the main defenders of his team and practiced in the academy for several years, passing through the various youth levels and age categories (Alevín A, Infantil B and A, Cadete B and A and Juvenil B and A). A talented and hard working youngster, he won numerous titles along the way.
During his time at the academy, he blossomed into a skilled player who displayed a great ability to adapt to different positions on the field. He also became popular for scoring goals despite his defensive position. He left FC Barcelona at the end of the 2003–04 season.
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Gerard Pique made his debut for Manchester United in October 2004 as a replacement for John O'Shea as a centre-back in a Carling Cup match against Crewe Alexandra which his team won.
In March 2006, he made his full debut for the team in a Premier League match against West Ham United at Old Trafford, playing at right-back. This time he was a replacement for Gary Neville who was nursing an injury.
Manchester United loaned him to La Liga side Real Zaragoza for the 2006–07 season. He got the chance to play 22 matches alongside Argentine Gabriel Milito, either as a stopper or a holding midfielder. However, he also spent much of his time on the bench.
Gerard Pique returned to Manchester United in 2007–08 and had a memorable season in the Champions League. He scored the first of Manchester United's four goals in the 4–0 home win against Dynamo Kyiv on 7 November 2007 and scored his second goal in an away match against Roma on 12 December 2007.
He signed a four-year contract with Barcelona, with a €5 million buy-out clause in May 2008. In his first season with Barcelona he made 45 appearances, and not only became the team’s first choice centre back but also scored three goals.
He was a part of the Barcelona team which beat Argentine club Estudiantes 2–1 in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup Final. He played a key role in the match as he assisted Pedro Rodríguez's 89th minute equalizing goal which took the match to extra-time.
He was called to play for the Spain national football team in 2009. After making an appearance in a friendly match against England, he played as a replacement for injured team-mate Carles Puyol in the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Turkey at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, and scored his team’s only goal.
He played as Spain’s first-choice centre-back playing alongside Puyol at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. His partnership with Puyol saw Spain concede only twice in seven World Cup matches. Spain went on to emerge victorious in the tournament after defeating the Netherlands 1–0 in the final.
He continued playing for Barcelona as well and played in the 2011 Champions League Final in which his team defeated Manchester United 3–1 at Wembley Stadium to lift the European Cup.
Gerard Pique was a part of the Spanish national team that participated in the UEFA Euro 2012 campaign. He partnered Sergio Ramos in the centre of defence and successfully converted the team's third penalty in a semi-final shoot-out win over Portugal.
He played in 39 official matches in the 2013–14 season as a part of the Barcelona team and scored four goals, two in the league and two more in the UCL. However he was plagued by injuries that forced him to miss out on the crucial Copa del Rey Final against Real Madrid. In 2014–15, he played 43 games for Barcelona.
Awards & Achievements
He was named La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2009.
In 2011, he was decorated with the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is in a relationship with Colombian singer Shakira who he first met when he appeared in the music video for her single "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)", the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The couple has two sons.
Gerard Pique has a net worth of $ 30 million.