Dubai: Former captain Gerard Pique has confided that his Barcelona side will bounce back and remain in the hunt for trophies this season.
With the 33-year-old sitting out with a knee injury at least until March, the Catalan club have been in turmoil, with their financial issues set to have a major impact on the club’s ability to compete at a higher level, including the Champions League and La Liga.
The Catalan giants are rumoured to be on the verge of a cash-flow meltdown with prospective presidential candidate Victor Font claiming the club has already gone bankrupt. To add to this, there has been a deadlock in preliminary talks over player salary reduction in 2021 despite the first team unilaterally agreeing to a pay cut during the second half of last season.
Heading into the short winter break and prior to the January transfer window, Barcelona are fifth in La Liga table with 24 points from 14 matches, still eight points off leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid both with 32 points.
“We are a team with great players and we are here to compete till the end of the season,” Pique told Gulf News after picking up his ‘Player Career Award’ on the sidelines of the Dubai International Sports Conference and Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, held at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, late on Sunday.
“We will compete and hope that we can win a few trophies like in the past as we have some great players with great qualities with us. But, it is always going to be difficult to compete for these titles, but we are all there to try our best and achieve our goals,” he said.
Now 33, Pique signed a fresh contract with a buy-out clause of 500 million euros in the second half of October that will keep him with the club until June 2024. Unfortunately, the Spaniard has been sidelined since the final week of November after suffering a sprain on his right knee’s internal lateral ligament and a partial injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.
“There is no doubt that we have a great team and we will bounce back soon. It is just a matter of time when we come back to where we belong and there is no doubt about this,” Pique said. “We are not at our best at this moment, but the games that we are playing are better than the results that we are having. I expect this will change soon. For sure, we have La Liga and the Champions League in sight. But as we all know, the season is very long and we have a lots to play.”
Pique is married to Colombian singer, dancer and songwriter Shakira, one of the most-followed celebrities on social media.