Champions League – After Barça – Inter (3-3): Piqué, a shipwreck in mondovision

Gerard Pique is strongly advised not to search for his name on social media this Thursday morning. If his name is trending on Twitter, for example, let’s say what is not really to congratulate him on his performance against Inter Milan on Wednesday evening (3-3) in the Champions League. A draw snatched in extremis by Barça, but which leaves him only a slim hope in the race for the knockout stages. Established due to the defections of his friends (Koundé, Christensen, Araùjo …), the 35-year-old defender, who will celebrate 36 next February, appeared completely overwhelmed. A shipwreck in mondovision which cost, in part, two goals to his team, not really up to the event either.

First of all, there was that first goal conceded where Pique almost did everything on his own. It all starts with a long ball from Bastoni, off-center in the left lane, towards the surface. As his teammates climb to play the offside, he stays two meters down, covering Barella’s incursion. Then, as if that were not enough, his unawareness of the danger makes him raise both arms, as if to indicate that this ball is going straight into the arms of Ter Stegen. Missed. The Italian international slipped behind him, forced to mark Dzeko, before controlling and scoring despite the return of Gavi. Suffice to say that this image of Piqué with arms wide apart quickly found its way onto the networks. Unfortunately for him and the Barça supporters, the evening continued. And nothing worked out.

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He plays the offside… in the opposing camp

Innocent (fortunately) on the second goal conceded, the defender is not exempt from any reproach on the third. On a long ball from Onana, the Nerazzurri goalkeeper, he then finds it good not to follow Lautaro Martinez, who has gone to take depth from the central circle, as if to play the offside but in the opposing half of the field. The result is terrible: the Argentinian inherits the ball on the right side, Pique comes back somehow but does not intervene to counter his opponent’s light pass to find a Robin Gosens tumbling on the other side. And since no one followed him, the German was able to calmly crucify a Ter Stegen abandoned by his team, not just his defense. Tapping only Pique would be too easy.

« But his performance was the portrait of Barca’s overall performance« , summed up Mundo Deportivo in its edition of the day. For its part, the other Catalan daily Sport gave number 3 the score … of 3. « His error on the first goal is incredible, is it written on his website. He breaks the offside line, does not go up and raises his arms (…) He remains Xavi’s fifth option in the hierarchy of defenders« , recalls the media, however. Since the start of the season, which he started on the bench, Piqué has played 6 matches (3 in La Liga, 3 in C1) for 436 minutes played. During the first six days of championship, he remained on the bench five times. A substitute status that his coach, who knows him well, has never hidden from him. « But I want to stay to prove that I can regain my place“, would then have answered his former teammate, when a possible departure was mentioned. The information had been revealed by the Iberian press. For the moment, it is not off to a good start.

Time passes for everyone, for him a little more

On social networks, Barça supporters attacked their defender head-on. Light anthology: « former defender« , « retired« , « not even a fifth option« … In Italy, the press speaks of a Gerard Pique at the « dusk » of his career, as in the columns of The Gazzetta dello Sport. « The time passes for everyone, for him a little more (…) He makes the plot with each attack of Inter« , writes bluntly the Corriere della Sera. And as if that weren’t enough, the Clasico against Real Madrid arrives on Sunday (4:15 p.m.). Xavi hopes to recover at least Jules Koundé by then, just to breathe a little Piqué, who has just played four matches in all competitions.

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Under contract until 2024 with Barça, the one who has won everything today seems to belong to the past of « his » club, although he tries to relate to the present to obtain a form for the future. « We need to bring in new blood to change this dynamic, and if I have to, I’ll be the first to go.… », he confided in August 2020 after a historic defeat against Bayern Munich (2-8). A sentence that could almost be brought up to date…

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