Pique Claims Van Gaal Helped A Lot In His Youth Period
Gerard Pique has said that new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal played a huge role in making him tough as a centre back. Van Gaal was the manager of Barcelona for a few years when Pique was coming through the youth ranks. Pique is one of the latest products from the famed Barcelona youth academy. The club went to great lengths in order to bring him back from Manchester United a few years ago. After forming an excellent partnership with Carlos Puyol that led the club to numerous titles, Pique is now one experienced players at the club.
He has spoken about the influence of Van Gaal, who has been the architect of several great players coming from youth academies, when the Dutchman was in charge of Barcelona. Over the years, Van Gaal has overseen players like Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller emerging from youth teams. His influence on Pique began when the player was just 13 years old. Reflecting on the instructions given by Van Gaal, Pique strengthened himself to become one of the finest centre backs in modern football. Apart from being able to defend, Pique also has the ability to bring the ball out of defence and start the attacks.
Pique has since won numerous titles like the World Cup and the Champions League. “I didn’t know him a lot when I was playing at Barcelona as I was really young when he was the coach. But he had a really good relationship with my grandfather, who was the vice-president. I had the chance to see him one day in my grandfather’s house. I was 12 maybe 13 years old, he came to the house and he knew I was playing for Barcelona’s young team. He pushed me. I fell down on to the floor. And he said to me, ‘You are not tough enough to be a centre back’,” said Pique.