Barcelona 'retiree' Pique: I never said what Gil Manzano claimed; why I have retired

Gerard Pique has explained retiring with Barcelona.

The former defender hung up the boots this week.

He told Ibai Gomez on his Twitch stream: “There are many reasons that one thinks about as the season goes by. I had a meeting with Xavi in which he told me that it would be difficult for me. I wanted to try it because it came from a good season. The sensations from the beginning of the season were not the best and I saw that the break was a good opportunity to make a decision.

“The fact that there were injuries in my position caused me to delay this because I would have left earlier. I didn’t play against Elche and Valladolid and I felt out of place. The sensations were not good. I was about to say it’s over. Not for pain. I go for sensations and I did not feel that it was my place. In the end I didn’t.

“They started getting injured and I thought I couldn’t leave the team at that point. And I set the World Cup break as the deadline. I made the decision there to leave it.”

On his clash with ref Jesus Gil Manzano, which saw him sent off as a substitute in the final game of his career in victory at Osasuna, Pique also claimed: “I am free. I will no longer have to be pigeonholed and answer what I have to. I did not do it.

“I explain how it was. At the break, after the arbitration, which hurt us a lot, because the play for the first goal was not a corner, it was a foul. Lewandowski’s first yellow is not. I am going to speak with him and I commented several plays to him. I enter the tunnel and tell him that he always hurts us. I don’t insult him at any time.

“He points at me and tells Carles Naval that I am insulted. I didn’t say anything and he expelled me. The record does not lie because he expels me for that. At the minimum they expel you. You can’t say anything. So, already expelled, I go into the locker room and the locker room is next door. I enter with more companions who came with me. And there is one who says the phrase in the locker room. And the referee puts the words in my mouth.

“I did not go. And they expel me for saying: you are always the same. It was an anecdote because it has no impact. I have already retired, but this can happen in a locker room tunnel. The luck is that the cameras see what I’m saying. And I don’t say anything to get expelled. Referees lack empathy and being able to speak. In England it is like that. He passed me by. Indifference.

“And when I tell him you are always the same, he expels me. And besides, he looks. He points to me and tells me: expelled. He tells Carles Naval.”