Gerard Pique only needed two words to light up the international press. “He stays,” the defender said on his social media accounts, along with a picture of himself and Neymar.
Neymar, of course, had been the subject of intense speculation as Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly willing to smash the world record transfer fee to lure him to the Parc des Princes. No one could get Neymar to comment on the situation. No one could get him to reveal his feelings, much less convince him of anything. But apparently, Pique did all that.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, FC Barcelona’s president, had said previously Neymar wasn’t leaving. Everyone shrugged. Pique says so, and he has a picture to back it up. The reaction is quite different.
Two words is all Pique needed, but then again, it’s not surprising. He’s lit up social media with zero words before.
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) December 2, 2015
That emoji-filled tweet was a typical trolling attempt at the expense of Real Madrid. Pique’s anti-Madrid stance makes him hated in Madrid and controversial elsewhere in Spain., but it makes him even more dear to cules.
It’s not just his social media influence, of course. He’s extremely well-connected, known for hanging out with Mark Zuckerburg (the founder of Facebook) and being in a relationship with pop star Shakira.
It was Pique and Shakira who initiated the contact between Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, and the Barcelona board. Rakuten’s logo now adorns FC Barcelona shirts.
He recently got his Master’s in Business, Media, Sports and Entertainment from Harvard University. His grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, was a former vice president of the club. All of this leads to speculation that the defender himself has a future role at the club after retirement.
Pique has admitted he’s thought about the presidency, but he’s not gone as far as committed to running. He’s gotten the backing of the likes of Xavi, Sergio Busquets, and Pep Guardiola. Whatever his future holds, a presidency is not in the cards until after his retirement. But he’s building quite a case for himself already.