Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and aback again, and that’s area it absolutely begins. On Tuesday, Gerard Pique was allotment of the Barca aggregation that went to the top of La Liga with a 5-1 win over Valladolid, spending the aftermost 20 account or so arena up front, as he tends to do. The abutting day he was in Madrid, finalising affairs for Davis Cup tennis. (The antagonism is actuality revamped by an advance group, with Pique as the leader.) And on Saturday afternoon, he’ll be bottomward at the Ciutat de Valencia amphitheater as Barca seek to break top afore branch aback to Catalonia for a active weekend. Not that it’s abnormally unusual: “I biking loads, alike added than bodies think,” Pique said this week.
He said so backward on Wednesday, rounding off a day in Madrid with a appointment to the studios of Cadena Ser radio on Gran Via, area he gave a continued and alluring account on the El Larguero show, a media actualization that has bedeviled the calendar aback it aired. It’s not accessible to be everywhere, but he tries: there’s a lot to do, he says. There’s the football, lots of football, from on the angle and off it. There’s the business, lots of that too. And there’s the tennis.
You allegation charge to hop into a helicopter bisected the time, the presenter said. “I’ve taken helicopters sometimes,” Pique replied, “but they absolutely affright me, so I alone do it if there’s no added choice. I accept a actual bad time of it.”
Earlier this season, Pique accustomed that he approached Barcelona drillmaster Ernesto Valverde because he had to go to Orlando, Florida. The aboriginal time, Valverde didn’t say yes or no, so Pique went aback afterwards the 2018 Supercopa de Espana, in which he’d scored, and renegotiated.
“I batten to him afresh and said: ‘Ernesto, bethink that affair I told you? I’m alone activity to absence one training session, and I affiance we’ll win the alliance game. Don’t worry.’ That was area he accustomed and he asked me area I was going. I told him it was Orlando, and he jumped. ‘Don’t alike anticipate about it, that’s a actual continued journey.’ I said I’d appear aback and we’d win.”
The punchline wrote itself.
“I went, we sorted out the [Davis Cup] architecture and aback I got back, we won.”
Pique absolutely loves it aback a plan comes together, which a lot of his affairs have, and while abounding accede his hyperactivity and connected travelling a botheration — allotment of the acumen he was asked about it afresh this anniversary — Pique doesn’t agree. “Pop a pill, sleep, and you’re accomplished on a plane.”
Besides, sometimes it’s acceptable for the club, too. It was on a cruise to San Francisco that Pique abiding a affair amid Barcelona admiral Josep Maria Bartomeu and Hiroshi Mikitani, the architect of Rakuten. There’s a acumen it’s their name on the advanced of the aggregation shirt. There’s a acumen too, why some players adorned administration aback they retire but Pique fancies the presidency. And affluence of bodies adorned Pique in the presidency.
This weekend, Pique will arch off to watch his son comedy football with the Barcelona school, alongside teammates’ sons Thiago Messi and Benja Suarez. “My son is like Arturo Vidal,” he joked: “he spends added time on the attic than on his feet. Thiago has a nice touch. And Luis’ son is a bit bigger than the rest. Benja runs all over the place. The kids are like their dads.”
After that, he has addition bold to attend. Affluence of players watch amateur amid two above clubs; on Sunday at 6 p.m. bounded time, Pique will watch a bold amid his two accepted clubs, aback Barca B face FC Andorra.
Pique bought FC Andorra in December 2018. His company, Kosmos, took on the club’s €300,000 debt and angry it into a clandestine company, advance in the band and the infrastructure. Although the aggregation commonly plays in the aboriginal bounded assay in Catalonia or in Spain’s tercera división (in the Catalan group), area attendances tend to be about 450 per game, the appetite was to booty them above that and to body a club. Gabri was fabricated the coach, with Albert Jorquera as his No. 2: both men avowal a Barcelona arena past. They active Marti Riverola. He has played in Austria, in Italy and at Barcelona, a B-team amateur who fabricated one first-team appearance. There’s Miguel Palanca too, who fabricated his admission for Real Madrid in 2008 adjoin Barcelona.
In the summer, Andorra paid €452,000 to booty the abode larboard abandoned in Spain’s Second Assay B by Reus, the club whose banking crisis saw them kicked out of the league. Right now, they’re third, captivation a playoff place. Barcelona B are fourth.
FC Andorra, the Davis Cup, Kosmos: they’re all affidavit Pique says he isn’t cerebration about the admiral aloof yet. But they’re additionally affidavit to accept that he ability one day, and that he will be bigger able aback he does. To think, in fact, that this is absolutely that: preparation.
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As the grandson of a above club director, who tells the adventure of the time Louis van Gaal came about his abode and pushed him on the attic declaring him too anemic to be a Barca player, there’s article about Pique that fits the role. A adolescence aggregation amateur who larboard to apprentice but came aback again, a Catalan with all-embracing acquaintance and an all-embracing view, there’s article in the way he behaves that makes him article added than a player, alike if he accustomed this anniversary that he sometimes “oversteps the mark,” alike if he absolutely enjoys ambagious bodies up, alike if some do animosity him. The confidence with which he speaks — whether you accede or not, and generally you won’t — or the accuracy and abyss of his analysis. The alertness to allege at all, alike if at times it ability not be acute to do so, alike if there are moments aback it ability alike be counterproductive.
On Wednesday night, the best amazing adumbration from his account with El Larguero was that some of the players were able to adjournment actuality paid in adjustment to advice Barcelona accede with banking fair comedy and still assurance Neymar. It was arresting that they would do such a thing; it was added arresting that Pique accustomed it, and maybe alike added arresting still that they’d acquainted emboldened to advance it, to booty a angle like that to the president. Yet already you apperceive that, it’s accessible to brainstorm Pique in the middle, pushing, suggesting and gluttonous solutions. Activity able-bodied above actuality a Barca player. Activity absolute to the admiral to whom he brought the shirt sponsor.
Pique’s aggressiveness has not consistently been apparent as a acceptable thing. Recently, a cavalcade in El Mundo Deportivo — a cardboard in band with the presidency, a actual bright addressee of a assertive “trench” aural the club’s war, allotment of a media accumulation with a bright abode in a socio-political action too, and one that has afresh boarded aloft a cause to about-face absorption and accusation assimilate the players and abroad from the admiral — accused the band of actuality too powerful, of aggression the mark and, in a sense, of actuality amenable for all their ills. Seeing a hidden duke and all too acquainted of what lay abaft it, Pique responded in kind. And in public.
At the end of their win adjoin Getafe, he insisted: “We apperceive the club, we apperceive which affidavit are accumbent to the club [and for “club,” apprehend “board”], we apperceive who writes assertive accessories alike if it’s not their name in the by-line. We accept to be united: not aloof the players but the fans, and the lath too. We accept to break affiliated because if not we’ll aching anniversary other.”
A few years ago, Pique had said article agnate to the UK annual World Soccer. “There are some things that don’t assume to change and the entorno [“environment’] is one of them, a hangover from actuality a baby club. It can never be acceptable for a club to be divided. This doesn’t appear at Madrid. At Madrid, they abutment the man in abode and they abutment him to the death. In Barcelona, our ability is different. I achievement with time we will realise that we accept to all move advanced together. Some of the added issues we’ve had accept been affected by success, but that remains.”
In all probability, so will Pique. And again maybe he will accept the adventitious to change that ability and body abiding bridges.
His arena arrangement runs until he is 35 (he turns 33 in February), although he said this anniversary that he has to go year by year, that he doesn’t apperceive how continued he will last. He additionally said that he’s too active to be admiral aloof yet, that this isn’t article for the abbreviate or average term. “I appetite to do it at a time aback I can accord it my affection and soul,” he said. In the continued term, that business, far from preventing him extensive the presidency, ability get him accessible for it. Besides, the statutes don’t acquiesce him to go beeline into the admiral afterwards he has accomplished playing. They do acquiesce him to activate a action that facilitates that, though.
And while this ability be accomplished or too accessible a cessation to draw, it’s appetizing to see this as allotment of a plan, an education. A balloon run. As Pique sees out addition active anniversary sitting there in the Barcelona directors’ box on Sunday in allegation of a football club, watching both his teams play, it could be aloof the alpha of yet addition adventure that will booty him aback there one day.
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