Barcelona Defender’s ‘Unacceptable’ Warm-Up Goes Viral [WATCH]

Gerard Pique

Getty Gerard Pique is leaving Barcelona.

Gerard Pique has struggled for game time at Barcelona in the 2022-23 season after falling way down the pecking order at the Camp Nou under coach Xavi Hernandez.

The defender once again started on the bench for the Catalans in Thursday’s 3-0 La Liga win over Villarreal but did come on late in the second half to give Jules Kounde a breather.

Pique was spotted warming up for Barcelona in a rather laid-back way. Footage of the center-back going through his warm-up emerged on Twitter after the win and was dubbed “unacceptable.”

The veteran can be seen largely watching the action unfold on the pitch and even stands and leans on the corner flag at one point. There are a few token stretches and a walk up the touchline but it hardly compares to the preparations of his fellow substitutes.

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Pique Whistled By Supporters

Pique was actually whistled by some supporters when he did finally come on, although other fans did cheer and try to drown out the jeers. The defender has been reduced to a bit-part role this season following the arrivals of Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen and Thursday was just his fourth league appearance.

It’s not entirely clear why some fans have chosen to turn against the defender who has played a huge role in the club’s success. The defender was at fault for a poor mistake in Barcelona’s costly Champions League draw against Inter but was not the only player guilty of errrors.

Xavi defended the 34-year-old after the match and insisted he had no idea why fans had chosen to whistle the center-back, as reported by ESPN.

“I don’t know and it doesn’t interest me much,” he said. “He is an example for the whole dressing room and training really well, that’s positive. The atmosphere is fantastic inside the dressing room. We have a great group, one of the best I have seen in my career.”

Laporta Chief Says Pique Is ‘Suffering’

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has also backed Pique recently. The club chief admitted back in June that Pique was having a tough time after separating from his partner Shakira and amid audio leaks that he had planned to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudia Arabia, as reported by Sport.

“Pique is suffering. For all the money and fame you can have, they [footballers] are people. He is a captain and he still has much to give. Gerard is committed,” he said. “He deserves the love of the cules (fans) – don’t pay attention to the news that’s coming out, he is a good person. He has chosen to continue being a footballer before a businessman.”

This could even be Pique’s final season at Barcelona. The defender has a contract until 2024 but the deal reportedly includes a clause that allows Barca to terminate it next year if he does not start 35% of the team’s games in all competitions in 2022-23.

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