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Getting To Know: Gerard Piqué

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Full name: Gerard Piqué i Bernabeu
Squad No: 3
Position: Center back
Date of birth: 2 February 1987
Place of birth: Barcelona, Spain
Height: 1.92 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight: 85 kg (187 lbs)

Born in the capital city of Catalonia, he was immediately linked to football and joined FC Barcelona's youth academy at the tender age of 10. For the next seven years he played for various under-age teams, showing great promise and versatility. He played numerous defensive positions as well as the defensive midfielder spot and also became known as a goalscorer.

At the end of the 2003-04 season Piqué left Barcelona and moved to Manchester, there he joined the Red Devils squad. Because of his youth and therefore ineligibility to sign a professional contract, Barcelona received no fee for the transfer. He made his United debut in October 2004 as a substitution in the League Cup at Crewe Alexandra. His first Premier League appearance came two seasons later against West Ham United, playing at right-back.

His third season at the club was cut short when he was loaned to Real Zaragoza for the whole season. He played in 28 games for the Aragonese side, most of them at defensive midfielder, and scored the first three goals of his professional career. The following season he return to England, but even with the experience gained in Spain, he was unable to win a starting position on the team. In three seasons at Manchester United he appeared in only 33 games but he did scored twice, both times in the Champions League.

On 27 May 2008 Pique returned to his boyhood club and signed a four year deal. Man U received €5 million from Barcelona for the youngsters services. He made his Barca debut three months after joining the team, the game was against Wisła Kraków in the Champions League; his La Liga debut came a month later against Racing Santander. He quickly became a first choice center back for coach Guardiola and has since then been recognized as one of the best central defenders in the world. Piqué played in 116 games for Blaugrana and has put the ball in the net on 8 occasions.

In the world of international football he became a regular fixture very early in his football career. He was a starter in Spain's U-16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 squads. On 11 February he made his first appearance for the senior team in a friendly game against England. Vicente del Bosque was impressed with what he saw and made Piqué the starting defender. He has rewarded his manager with scoring four goals in 29 games. He also played every minute of every game in Spain's World Cup campaign.

Gerard is a big, strong defender who reads the play very well, making him excellent in the air. For his commanding presence in the backline and his the uncanny ability of taking the ball out of defense he drew comparisons with German legend Franz Beckenbauer and became known as "Piquenbauer". Piqué isn't know for speed thought, but with good positioning he doesn't get burned to often.

Manchester United

  • Premier League (1): 2007-08

  • Football League Cup (1): 2005-06

  • FA Community Shield (1): 2007

  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2007-08


  • La Liga (2): 2008-09, 2009-10

  • Copa del Rey (1): 2008-09

  • Supercopa de España (2) 2009, 2010

  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2008-09

  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2009

  • FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2009

  • Don Balón Award: 2008-09


  • FIFA World Cup (1): 2010

  • UEFA U-19 Championship (1): 2006

In February 2010 Piqué signed a contract extension that will keep him under team control until 2015.

Next up: As there is no No. 4 on the team I am taking a week off. Nah, just kidding, I'll take a look at Carles Puyol.

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