Report: It was an eventful year for Gerard Pique, on and off the field. The season started great for Gerard as played a key role in Spain's World Cup winning campaign and played solid defense for Barcelona while paired with Carles Puyol. But then Puyol injured (and re-injured) his knee and Pique started to struggle a bit as he went through several different defensive partners. Piquenbauer settled in when he started games paired with Eric Abidal.
With Abidal providing experience and leadership Pique again started to dominate opposing attackers. And he even contributed the occasional goal. Then Abi's tumor happened. This time around Pique's defensive partner became Javier Mascherano with who he played remarkably well.
As the season started to near it's end, for some unknown reason Gerard and Victor Valdes experienced difficulties communicating. The problem was mostly noticeable when both went after the ball. They usually got there at the same time and then either both of them played it (Manchester United) or neither did, which led to an easy goal (Levante).
Despite the misunderstandings it was a good season for Pique, although it wasn't as good as the one before. He is still only 24 and after a couple seasons of playing with Puyol, the young man will learn more about communication and leadership which will help him immensely.
Gerard's air game remained brilliant on both ends of the pitch as he was rarely beaten to a high cross. He scored four goals (all from corner kicks) which matched his career high set last season. Pique did, however, set new career marks several other categories including games played, minutes played and yellow cards received. He also assisted on more goals than in any season before.
Moment of the season: Piqué contributed more than just on defense this year as he scored four times. The most important goal came against Villarreal CF on 2 April 2011 when Gerard broke the deadlock with a nice finish in the 67th minute. It turned to be the only tally of the hard fought match at El Madrigal which resulted in a crucial win in Barcelona's three-peat campaign.
Villarreal CF vs FC Barcelona 0-1 Pique's Goal [02/04/2011] (via drinbokshicool)
|Started on the bench||5|
|Shots on goal||9|
Record with Gerard Piqué in the starting lineup: 33-10-5
2011/12 Outlook: Gerard Pique will return as a member of Barcelona's top central defense pairing. Who will his partner be depends mostly on the status of Puyol's knee. From Piqué you can expect good defending throughout the season, even great defending if he has an experienced man standing next to him. Oh, and you will surely find him on the cover of some fashion magazine.
Next up: Daniel Alves
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