Coach Barcelona Xavi Hernandez says he understands Gerard PiqueDecided to retire midway through the season, as the 35-year-old defender feels no longer “important or useful” to the team as he once was. Pique announced he will play his final game at Camp Nou on Saturday against Almeria, while he will also feature in the club’s final game before the World Cup at Osasuna on Tuesday. This season, Xavi has only called him up for injury, with Pique behind Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia and Andreas Christensen in order of dissection at central defender.
“It was difficult circumstances for him that forced him to quit the profession,” Xavi said at a press conference on Friday.
“Playing less, being less helpful, I’ve been through this situation too and it’s normal to put it aside. He deserves all the praise and let the Barcelona fans honor him, because He’s a club legend.”
Xavi, who played with Pique as a teammate during the club’s most successful era, in which they won three times in 2009 and 2015, admits he played a key role in the circumstances. leading to the retirement of his former teammate.
Spanish media reported that Xavi told Pique he would find it difficult to play this season during a summer chat with the defender. Although he did not want to reveal the details, the coach said this was one of his most difficult moments as a coach.
“We had a chat at the beginning of the season where I told him my intentions. It was a private matter, and it was one of the hardest days of my coaching career.
“And now (difficult) too, he’s been my teammate, I have a lot of respect for him. When you’re not important or useful to the team anymore, you feel bad.
“(My role) is certainly important but these are decisions that you have to make for the sake of the club. I was looking for the best for Barca. That’s how difficult it is.
“I have to make decisions, I’m the coach of Barca, and it’s not good to have to make decisions like this.”
“He’s brave, competitive, a winner, he’s not scared or complicated, he’s very competitive, very smart, a great teammate and a very good captain,” Xavi added. .
Pique has previously stated that he wants to be president of Barcelona in the future and said he will be “back” in his goodbye video.
“Gerard can be whatever he wants,” the Barcelona coach said. “With the power he has and his personality, there’s no doubt about that.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndication feed.)
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