News Matches
Barcelona

'I don't know and I don't care' - Xavi backs Pique after defender booed and jeered by own fans in Barca win over Villarreal

11:10 GMT+4 21/10/2022
Gerard Pique Barcelona 2022-23
Gerard Pique was jeered by his own supporters during Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Villarreal, but he retains the full support of manager Xavi.
  • Veteran defender making the odd mistake
  • Fans beginning to turn on him
  • Coach says he has important role to play

WHAT HAPPENED? The veteran Blaugrana defender is now 35 years of age and has made the odd costly mistake during La Liga and Champions League outings in 2022-23. Patience at Camp Nou appears to be wearing thin with the World Cup winner when it comes to those in the stands, as whistles rained down on Pique when he was introduced off the bench in Barca’s latest fixture, but Xavi says the man he has both coached and played alongside still has an important role to play.

WHAT THEY SAID: Reacting to the terrace taunts aimed in Pique’s direction, Xavi told reporters: “I called for unity. It’s time to be together. All I can say is that in the dressing room he is an example. And he’s a great captain. People need to know that.

“I don’t know why they whistle and I don’t care either… What matters to me is that Pique is with us in the dressing room and he always does the best for the group. Today the reaction was required and the team reacted wonderfully. I’m happy to be Pique’s coach.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Catalan native Pique returned to his roots at Barcelona in 2008 following a four-year stint at Manchester United and has taken in 613 appearances for the club, helping them to eight La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR PIQUE? Barca will be back in action on Sunday when playing host to Athletic Club, before then taking in a potentially crucial European clash with Bayern Munich at Camp Nou next Wednesday.