Guardiola says it was an ‘honour’ to manage ‘big game’ Pique

Since Gerard Pique announced on Thursday that he would be retiring from football after this weekend’s La Liga game week, thousands of tributes have poured in from both former teammates, fellow players, managers and fans.

Pep Guardiola has been the latest manger to heap praise on Pique and his outstanding career.

“I wish him the best personally, and my affection to him. A player for the big games. He’d never miss one, or perform badly at the highest level against the top, top teams. That is what all the big clubs need: these types of players. He won everything, with Barcelona, the Spanish national team…And yeah, it was an honor, for me, personally, to be his manager. We spent an incredible four years together.”

It was an honor, for me, personally, to be his manager. We spent an incredible four years together.

Guardiola managed Pique for four years at Barcelona which was one of the most successful and decorated periods in the club’s history. In 2009, the team wrote themselves into the annals of football history forever: the Catalan giants won an unprecedented six trophies– all the possible titles they could have won.

Pique played a total of 615 games for Barca, scoring 52 goals. In that time, he won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues during his 14-year spell.

Pique also won 102 caps for Spain and was a key part of the side that won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and the UEFA European Championship in 2012.

Barcelona: Xavi to revolutionize Barcelona’s squad and the four team captains may not be back next year

FC Barcelona’s four captains might not be back next season with the team, according to an ESPN report that cites the alleged desires of the team’s brass.

The four team captains are Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto, coincidentally are all former teammates of the now manager, Xavi Hernandez.

Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto’s contract expire next summer, so they can start negotiating with their next club as soon as in January 2023, while Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique are signed for one more season beyond that.

The captains have lost minutes on the pitch

Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique are no longer starters regularly in Barcelona’s squad, with Sergi Roberto having seen minutes regularly due to the injuries to several of his teammates.

Sergio Busquets remains as the only starting calliber player among the captains, but he’ll decide his future after the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup next month, as he’s reportedly contemplating some offers from the MLS to finish his career in the United States.

Age also factors in for this captains, as Sergi Roberto is the youngest of the quartet but at 30 years old already.

Some captains are amongst Barcelona’s highest paid players

Barcelona is eager to let go of some of their captains like Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, specially as the pair are amongst the highest paid players in the club, so the team will look to find suitors to take on their millionaire contracts.

The team president, Joan Laporta has publicly stated that the high salaries of some players made it impossible for the team to look for players to buy or get in a loan.

Exclusive: The European Super League appoints new CEO, Florentino Perez’s dream is still alive

The European Super League continues to wait for the European Courts to pronounce themselves in 2023 in regards to whether or not there is a monopoly on football by UEFA. A22 Sports Management is the company in charge of sponsoring and helping the creation of the European Super League. In its advisory capacity, the group focuses on the general structure and the financial aspects of the hypothetical new competition.

As of Wednesday, the company will announce the hiring of 48 year-old Bernd Reichart as the CEO for the European Super League. He is an executive who recently held the position of General Director of the RTL Deutschland Group, according to the statement that MARCA has been able to access.

“The initial goal will be to initiate dialogue with a diverse group of interested parties in football, including clubs, players, trainers, fans, media and political officials. The objective is to facilitate the development of a sustainable sports model for European club competitions that reflect mutual interests and the wide range of fans and the general football community”, the statement reads.

Ceferin: Super League proponents must live in parallel worldAP

Bara and Juve face trouble in the current Champions League

Along with Real Madrid and their President Florentino Perez, one of the aspirations of these three clubs is to make a more competitive tournament and avoid games against clubs of a lesser competitive level. Despite Bara and Juventus admitting that they are practically out of the round of 16 of the current Champions League.

“The current situation of European football is characterized by a series of challenges that will not be solved by themselves. The presidents of Real Madrid,FC Barcelona, and the President of Juventus have recently presented their points of view on the problems they are facing with the current Champions League model. I believe that they are raising the correct questions and personally I am willing to listen to different voices so that the European football community can find the appropriate answers together. The game that we all love will benefit from honest and open dialogue, free of restrictions, about a brighter future through a serious reform”, says Reichart in the statement.

Lewandowski handed 2022 Muller Trophy in Ballon d’Or ceremony

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski was handed on Monday the Muller Trophy which recognizes the player who scored the most goals with his club and the national team during a single season.

The Barcelona No.9 recorded his best-ever scoring tally last year. He netted 50 goals for Bayern Munich in all competitions – 35 of which came in the Bundesliga, 13 in the Champions League and two in the DFL-Supercup. To his tally must be added the seven goals he scored with the Polish national team.

France Football magazine created this award to honor Gerd Muller, who passed away in August 2021. The former Bayern Munich and Germany striker won the World Cup in 1974. In May 2021, Lewandowski broke the record that Muller had set 49 years earlier for the most goals scored in a single season.

Setting sights on the Ballon d’Or

Last year, Robert Lewandowski was handed the Striker of the Year award at the Theatre Chatelet in Paris.

The Barcelona striker has hit the ground running this season, having already scored 14 goals across all competitions. After joining the Catalan club, Lewandowski did not hide his desire to win the Ballon d’Or in the future. The Poland international was favorite to win the prize in 2020, but the ceremony was cancelled.

Gavi wins 2022 Kopa Trophy award

Gavi was handed the 2022 Kopa Trophy award during the Ballon d’Or Gala which was held in Paris on Monday. The Barcelona prodigy was voted ahead of other talented players, such as Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavigna, for the finest U21 player’s prize.

The Spain international has stolen the limelight since he debuted with Barcelona last season. He is picking up the baton from teammate Pedri, who won the same accolade last season and became the first Spaniard to do so.

The 18-year-old midfielder has become a key player for both Xavi Hernandez and Luis Enrique in the Spanish national team. He has already played 60 games for Barcelona and another 12 for La Roja, where he has made history.

A month ago, the Catalan club renewed his contract until June 2026, and included a one-billion-euro buyout clause in the deal.

This trophy is named after the first ever Ballon d’Or winner, French footballer Raymond Kopa.

The final Kopa Trophy ranking

The Barcelona midfielder was followed by Camavinga (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund) and Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen).

It has to be noted that the winner of the Kopa Trophy is voted on by previous Ballon d’Or winners such as Michel Platini, Zinedine Zidane, Mario Van Basten, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric.


The Kopa Trophy was created in 2018 and it was not awarded to any player in 2020 as the ceremony was cancelled due to Covid-19. Kylian Mbappe won it in its first edition followed by Matthijs de Ligt, and Pedri, who also received the Golden Boy prize last season.