Piqué remercie les fans

Gerard Piqué, who is in China on holiday, participated in an online chat session with Chinese Barça fans on the social network Tencent Weibo. The Azulgrana defender fielded questions from the Chinese supporters for half an hour, the questions ranged from both the personal aspects of the player’s life to his views on playing professional football for Barça.

Piqué, whose defensive prowess makes him a permanent fixture in Barça’s line-ups, was asked about his personal opinion on what makes a good defender: “first, you have to be fast. Barça’s style relies heavily on attacking, this means that defenders have to respond to situations quickly. Furthermore, it’s important to have confidence in yourself when you control the ball, you have to analyse the situation on the pitch and attack.” The style of Barça’s play is perfectly catered to Piqué’s experience as a player. The defender, who honed his skills as a football in the English Premier League, said that the “English style is faster than its Spanish counterpart,” when asked about his experience in Manchester United. However, the Catalan added that “in the Spanish league, especially at Barça, we place a lot more importance on ball control, accurate passes to teammates, we try to create chances.”

Holiday in China

With Didier Drogba’s recent commitment to a Chinese football team, more and more players that formerly plied their trade in Europe are making the trek to Asia before they finish their careers. Piqué, responding to a question about China and the possibility of playing in the Asian country, said: “I’m very happy playing for a team like Barça. As a professional player, my future has a lot of possibilities. I really like China, I’ve had a marvelous time here.” The Azulgrana, who likes to post pictures of his travels online, offered up photographic proof of his enjoyable stay in the Asian country on Tencent Weibo. “Having vacation after a long season is important. I went to see an Orca a couple of days ago with my girlfriend, it was a blast. I went to the Great Wall and Beijing’s Forbidden City, it’s impressive! The new season will start soon and I have a week before I have to report back for training,” said Piqué.

Rituals and friends

“I see how basketball players cut the net from the basket when they win, and I think that’s a great idea, that’s why I do it after important victories, like the World Cup or the Champions League final,” said Piqué when asked about his odd tournament-winning ritual. He added that “I keep the net as a souvenir, sometimes I give it to fans.” In addition to his post-match rituals, Chinese fans also asked Piqué about his friends in the Barça dressing room. The Azulgrana defender was quick to say that “Puyol and Cesc ... Puyol takes care of me like an older brother would, he explains football to me. Our friendship goes well beyond being just teammates, we often eat together. When it comes to Cesc, we’ve known each other since we were 9-years-old. We don’t keep secrets from each other, we’re really good friends.”