During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Pique spoke of his time at La Masia, and his decision to leave Barcelona at such a young age.
The two-time Champions League winner described Barcelona’s famed academy as ‘different’ to what it is today – mentioning the difficulties in breaking through into the first team.
Pique’s current teammate - and best friend - Cesc Fabregas joined the Arsenal academy as a 16-year-old, sensing that he would receive a lack of first-team opportunities at star-studded Barcelona.
Fabregas would later re-join his friend at Barcelona, but he could have played with Pique from a much younger age had events turned out differently.
The Spanish international defender admitted that he nearly joined Arsenal after having a meeting with boss Arsene Wenger, but the two clubs were unable to do a deal.
He said: 'I remember that first of all Arsenal were interested in me and I had a meeting with Arsène Wenger.
'I was close to going to Arsenal, but the year before Cesc Fabregas went there and Arsenal and Barcelona were in a little fight and they didn’t want to do the same with me. Manchester United came in and finally I went there'.
Pique stayed at Old Trafford for four years, making just 12 appearances in all competitions before moving back to Barcelona in the summer of 2008.
The 27-year-old has since gone on to win a cabinet full of silverware, including four La Liga titles, two Copa Del Rey’s, four Spanish Super Cups, two Champions League titles and two European Super Cups, and is currently regarded as one of the world’s best centre-backs.
Would Gerard Pique have been a success at Arsenal ?
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