Tribuna/News/7 facts you might not know about Gerard Pique

7 facts you might not know about Gerard Pique

7 facts you might not know about Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique was born and bred a Barcelona fan thanks to grandfather Amador Bernabeu, a longstanding club director and vice-president, who signed him up as a member the day he was born.

The centre-back had a traumatic brush with tragedy as a toddler, falling off a balcony in his grandparents' home and spending hours in a coma before making a full recovery.

Pique took a particular interest in the dressing-room pranks at Manchester United. "They do hilarious things to each other and it's fine; they don't complain, they just try to get their own back," he said, recalling one instance when Patrice Evra's brand new shoes were burned. "I tried a few pranks when I went back to Barcelona, like deflating car tyres, and they went ballistic at me." Pique did not entirely lose his mischievous side, however, setting off a stink bomb on the team plane on a pre-season trip to Helsinki.

He enjoyed a close, albeit unlikely, friendship with Barça colleague Puyol, in many ways his polar opposite and who acted like an older, wiser brother. Pique summed up their contrasting characters with an anecdote. "One time the game was stopped, someone was on a stretcher, and he was shouting at me. I said to him: 'Calm down, it's 4-0.' He said: 'So what? Focus! I know you.' I was dying with laughter."

Pique began courting his partner Shakira before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, first meeting the singer in Madrid to appear in the music video for her hit song Waka Waka alongside other Spain players. He then made a bold promise. "I knew she'd be at the closing ceremony so I said to her: 'If I have to reach the World Cup final to see you again, I'll make sure Spain make it.'"

A video games fanatic – particularly football games – the defender created his own game Golden Manager, setting up the company Kerad Games with his family.

Pique has a peculiar way of marking milestone wins: stealing goal nets. He cut the nets from the goals after each Champions League final triumph with Barça, and also went to great lengths to take home the nets from the World Cup final in Johannesburg, heading to the groundsman's office to demand his unique souvenir.