Gerard Piqué has defended FC Barcelona teammate Samuel Umtiti after the latter had been booed heavily whenever he has warmed up or played at the Camp Nou this season.
Umtiti was considered one of the best defenders in the world a few years ago and signed a contract that reflected that. However, injury problems have completely wrecked his level. Barcelona tried to sell him or loan him in the transfer window, but he turned down all offers - preferring to sit on the bench and collect his hefty paycheck.
“ I am convinced that most of the people who whistle at him have been working in a company for 30 years and they don’t do anything and they know they can’t be fired,” Piqué said in defense of the Frenchman while speaking on the radio.
“I know it’s difficult but you have to put yourself in the player’s shoes... people have every right to whistle, I’m not saying stop whistling, I say empathize and put themselves in the player’s shoes. If they want to whistle, let them whistle.“
“Another thing is who signs Umtiti’s contract. It’s renewed by a person who has been voted by the club’s members, in the end the members, and I do not blame them for anything, they have the responsibility of electing a president who renews player contracts. In this case, he renews it and it was a wise decision, because at that time everyone would have renewed it,” Piqué said.