In a major revelation, SPORT is claiming that things are not well between Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez and one of his captains, Gerard Pique.
The veteran defender has found game-time hard to come by in the ongoing campaign, having been overlooked by the manager in favour of Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo.
Essentially, Pique has become the fifth-choice centre-back at Spotify Camp Nou and has played just two times across all competitions, totalling up to 135 minutes of on-field action.
It has seemingly let the 35-year-old frustrated and as per the report, Pique was complaining over his lack of playing time in the dressing room last week after the loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Xavi heard what the centre-back was saying and stopped him before telling the veteran club captain something along the lines of: “And you are gonna play even less now.”
The report states that the relationship between the two Barcelona greats is quite tense at the moment.
Xavi has been slowly, but surely, phasing out the old guard at Spotify Camp Nou this season. Pique has fallen down the pecking order and fellow captain Jordi Alba also finds himself out of the starting XI, with the manager building a team for the future.
And Pique, who is hardly playing, has become more of a burden for the club because of his massive wages (€52 million for the current season).
So much so that, the report adds that the defender honours his previous statements about wanting to retire at the club and decides to step down at the end of the current campaign.
Such a move would come as a major financial relief for the Blaugrana while also clearing the path for the future at the team. “We hope he keeps his word,” club sources are reported to be saying about Pique’s past statements on retirement.
As things stand, there is little chance that Pique’s situation improves considering how solid the other defenders have been so far this season. So, it will certainly be interesting to see how things develop from here.