Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has offered his thoughts on how long he has left playing at the top level and whether captain Lionel Messi will stay at the Camp Nou past this season.
Pique will turn 34 in February and is heading towards the end of his career, although he did sign a contract extension in October that means his current deal now runs until 2024.
The center-back has been in Dubai to pick up a prize at the Globe Soccer Awards.
Pique made reference to his own future in his acceptance speech and said he hoped he “could continue playing for two, three or four more years,” as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
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Pique Talks Messi Future
The Barcelona defender also spoke about team-mate Messi. The Argentina international’s future at the Camp Nou is uncertain as he told the club he wanted to leave last summer and is out of contract at the end of the current season.
Pique told Sky Sport Italia that it was up to Messi to make his own mind up and that it would be a tough call for Barca if he did decide to end his long stay with the Catalan giants.
I think it is a decision that he will make based on the feelings he will have during the year. We know how important he is as a player and as a person, many of us have a very good relationship with him, as we have been playing together for so many years. It would be very difficult if he left. We hope he can stay, but it’s a decision he has to make.
Messi is able to talk to other clubs from January 1. The Argentina international is waiting to talk to the club’s new president, with elections scheduled for January 24, before deciding his future, according to ESPN.
Messi Joins Pique on Injured List
Both Pique and Messi are currently out of action with injuries. Pique has been out since injuring a knee in Barcelona’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid back in November.
The center-back has said he is “feeling fine” but must wait to see if can start to step up his recovery. Pique could return in time for Barcelona’s Champions League last 16-second leg against Paris Saint-Germain in March, according to Catalunya Radio.
Uruguay international Ronald Araujo and youngster Oscar Mingueza have filled in for Pique during his absence and look set to continue in the backline while the 33-year-old is out of action.
Meanwhile, Messi has been ruled out of Tuesday’s La Liga clash with Eibar. The captain is undergoing treatment on an ankle injury but is expected to return to training after the match. Barcelona are due to train again on Friday ahead of their first fixture of 2021 on January 3 at Huesca.
Ronald Koeman’s men face a hectic start to the year with three La Liga games in a week, against Huesca, Athletic and Granada, followed by a trip to Andalusia for a Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Sociedad.
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