The Barça centre back feels his team’s strong start to the season has put them in a great position in the league, although there is a long way still to go
He feels Leo Messi is the big favourite to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or
On Benfica he says “they are very strong in attack and are coming to win at the Camp Nou”
FIFA Ballon d’Or: Messi favourite
The defender also believes that his Argentinian colleague is likely to win another FIFA Ballon d’Or. “Iniesta has won the European Championship this year and could win it. Cristiano Ronaldo has had a great season, but Leo has stolen my heart. I think he’s the big favourite”, he said. As for the manager of the year, Piqué put Vicente Del Bosque ahead of Guardiola and Mourinho, because “they have won the award before”.
FC Barcelona have got off to a record breaking start in La Liga. They are six and eight points clear of the second and third placed teams, and that means Gerard Piqué, one of the main reasons for such success, can breathe easily. “This good start gives us plenty of peace of mind ahead of what’s we still have to come. We are in a great position, and if we can carry on like this, we have a lot to win”.
But the battle is by no means over yet. “There is a lot of season left and we are experienced enough to know that we have to keep our feet on the ground. In Guardiola’s first year we had a similar lead, but ended up having to go to the Bernabéu to win the league”, he said, although he also believes that their form is gradually improving as the season goes on.
Reasons for records
This is the club’s best ever start to a Liga campaign, with Piqué puts down to taking things a game at a time, and also playing so well as a team. “To break a record like that, you have to play well and also have the little bit of luck that we’ve been having. You have to take things a game at a time and that way the records break themselves”. Piqué spoke about one such record, Leo Messi’s chance to top Gerd Müller’s tally for goals in a calendar year. “It’s one of those things that get you excited, because it’s such an old record. But we shouldn’t be focusing on that, because that will actually make it harder for him to score. Messi has to relax”, he said.
Although Barcelona have already guaranteed themselves top spot in their Champions League group, Piqué insists they still want to win their last game in the stage. That’s something that won’t be easy. “They have a very attack-minded team, with players like Aimar and Cardozo. They’re very skilful and will be coming here to win” he said.
On a more personal note, Piqué is delighted with his fitness at the moment, and also feels he has found the right way to improve his game. “If you play with a smile, you play better” he claims. “Just like ‘Magic’ Johnson at the Lakers”.