Ahead of Barcelona’s exciting Champions League clash with goal machines Manchester City, Gerard Pique was in the pre-match press conference praising City’s neighbours Man Utd.
The 27-year-old two-time Champions League winner joined Manchester United as a youngster in 2004 after a potential deal to join-up with Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal had collapsed.
Despite not playing much, Pique says that his time at Old Trafford and under the wing of former boss Sir Alex Ferguson was an excellent experience – and which helped him become the player he is today.
Pique spent three years in Manchester, forming friendships and memories with a number of top players – including Cristian Ronaldo, and said of his former employers:
“Manchester for me was very special, in that I arrived as a 17-year-old. I would have liked to play more, to be important for the team, but they were very important years in my career.”
“I have always said that after Barcelona, Man Utd will always be my second team because they treated me very well, from to Sir Alex to all of the players.”
Pique recently explained in another interview that he almost joined his friend – and current teammate – Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal, but an agreement between the clubs couldn’t be reached. The Barcelona star reiterated the situation, adding Sir Alex Ferguson’s involvement in persuading him to move to Manchester:
“Arsenal arrived first, but the year before they took Cesc and Barca didn’t like the situation.”
“Sir Alex Ferguson opened his arms to me, took me and my family to dinner and convinced me.”
Despite Manchester United struggles this season – and the real possibility of the Red Devils not participating in next season’s Champions League – Pique will always think of United as England’s number one team, saying:
“For me, United have always been the best in England.”