Pique reveals he flew to USA without Valverde's permission
- Last summer, Gerard had some things to arrange related to his business.
- The centre-back needed to travel to Orlando, USA.
- Ernesto refused to let the player leave.
- Pique made the trip anyway and went on to start in the next league game.
Ernesto Valverde gave the squad four rest days, from Thursday to Sunday. Gerard Pique took advantage of the mini-holiday to travel to New York, USA as well as agree to a series of interviews. In particular, during his interview with Diario AS, the centre-back revealed that he travelled to the USA for business reasons without the coach's permission back in August 2018.
The defender's company Kosmos Group are the organizers of this year's Davis Cup finals which will take place in Madrid, Spain in November. However, one year ago, there were still some issues to be resolved and Pique's presence was needed:
"A few days before the ITF vote to approve our format I spoke with him to say: 'Listen, Ernesto, I have to go because there are doubts and my presence can help the project move forward'.
"I didn't want to tell him it was in Orlando. He didn't tell me no, but neither did he say yes. Then we played the Super Cup against Sevilla and win thanks to my goal.
"So I talked to him again: 'Ernesto, you remember what I asked you, can I go? I'm just going to miss one training session, and I assure you that we will win the League match. Do not worry'.
"There he accepted at first and asked me where it was. I explained that in Orlando and he was startled: "No, don't even talk about it, it's a very long trip."
"I insisted that I would return and we would win. I went there, the format was approved and when I came back, we won." (vs Alaves, 3-0)
The Spaniard also went on to explain why this project is of so much importance to him:
"I dedicate 24 hours and seven days a week to it. It is the project of my life and I think we are on the right track.
"When you believe in something and you have a team like mine, you do everything you can to make it happen, and with that passion you convince people.
"It is the goal we have and that is why we dedicate so much time. With Barcelona I play and train every day, but when I have two or three days off I take a flight to be in New York, because in the end things happen talking to people, listening to everyone, especially to players, to see what they need, what they want and how the competition can be better."
Do you think Pique's actions are disrespectful?