Gerard Pique was back in the Barcelona team for Saturday’s Copa del Rey final win over Athletic and certainly made his presence felt both on and off the pitch.
The defender put in an accomplished performance in the backline, after recovering from a knee injury that has kept him out since the semi-final win over Sevilla, and also played a key role in the celebrations as usual.
Pique took aim at big-money buy Ousmane Dembele when the Frenchman tried to join in with a photograph of the club’s La Masia graduates with the trophy, according to Diario Sport.
The center-back’s response was brutal as he jokingly asked Dembele to get out of the shot by telling the Frenchman, “You, get out of here, with all that you cost us.”
The defender then lined up alongside teammates including Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, Oscar Mingueza, and Ilaix Moriba for the photograph that highlights how the club’s academy continues to thrive.
🏆 A trophy forged at 𝘓𝘢 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘢 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/EH77j9LwDK
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 17, 2021
Pique played 82 minutes of the 4-0 win on his return from knee trouble, while Dembele started on the bench but came on for the final few minutes as Barcelona picked up the trophy for a record 31st time.
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Pique’s Traditional Celebration
The Barcelona defender also performed his traditional celebration after collecting yet another trophy for his club. The center-back took out his scissors and added another net to his collection.
Don't tell the groundsman! 😅
Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets help themselves to some net ✂ pic.twitter.com/kpHxd045lh
— Goal (@goal) April 17, 2021
Pique has now won 30 titles as a Barcelona player and warned after the game there is more to come from Ronald Koeman’s side with a post on Twitter. He wrote, “This is not over, this has just begun. Congratulations culés. Visit Barça and Visca Catalunya! Cup Champions !!!!!”
The defender was also spotted spraying Cava around in celebration when the players returned to the team hotel after the match.
— Albert Hernàndez (@Albert_Hdez) April 17, 2021
Barcelona could still end the season with a league and cup double. Koeman’s men are two points off the top of the table with eight La Liga games left to play.
Barca Send Message After Copa del Rey Win
Pique wasn’t the only one bursting with confidence after seeing Barcelona thrash Athletic 4-0 in the Copa del Rey final. The Catalan giants celebrated by wearing T-shirts with the message “The first of a new era.”
𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗙𝗜𝗥𝗦𝗧 𝗢𝗙 𝗔 𝗡𝗘𝗪 𝗘𝗥𝗔 🟦🟥 pic.twitter.com/L6PL1ALvHS
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 18, 2021
The return of president Joan Laporta and the emergence of youngsters such as Pedri, Oscar Mingueza, Sergino Dest, Ilaix Moriba, and Ansu Fati certainly means there is plenty of optimism about the future at the Camp Nou presently.
Barca will also be hoping that Saturday’s win can help persuade captain Lionel Messi to continue at the club. The Argentine’s contract expires at the end of the season and it’s still unclear if he will continue or walk away for free.
Messi spoke out after the match and told Barca TV that it was “very special” to lift the Copa del Rey as captain, and fans will be hoping it’s not the last trophy the 33-year-old wins for the Catalan giants before he hangs up his boots.