FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has again been tipped to become president of his boyhood club one day, and has earned praise for taking a pay cut that will allow them to register new players for the upcoming La Liga season.
As has been well-documented, the cash-strapped Catalans were previously struggling to navigate a strict La Liga salary cap.
Problems arising from this have already seen them wave goodbye to their greatest ever player Lionel Messi, who joined PSG earlier this week, and they then looked unable to register their new signings for a fresh Spanish top flight campaign.
With time ticking until their first outing against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou this weekend, veteran Pique made the gesture which means the likes of Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia can now form part of Ronald Koeman’s plans against the Basques.
Barcelona have confirmed that Gerard Piqué has agreed to a substantial pay cut to allow La Liga registration of new signings Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj too. ?? #FCB#Pique More than a player. pic.twitter.com/U3TnvMamla
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 14, 2021
“FC Barcelona is able to register Memphis, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj to play in the Spanish Liga de Futbol Profesional,” the club confirmed in a statement.
“This has been made possible thanks to an agreement with Gerard Pique whereby the Barca second captain’s salary has been substantially reduced.”
“The club is also continuing to work with two of the other captains, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, to adapt their salaries to the club’s current situation. It must be noted that both players are totally and utterly willing to cooperate,” it added.
The action has seen a re-emergence of Pique being dubbed “My president” and “The president” by Blaugrana fans, who have long viewed him as one day rising to the highest office backstage at the Camp Nou.
His former teammate and skipper Carles Puyol heaped praise on his protege, as did former Barca striker Gary Lineker.
But elsewhere, Pique lamented the exit of close friend Messi, with whom he grew up together in the famed La Masia academy.
Gerard Pique after Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Juventus:”The team was a bit broken because of Messi’s departure. We’ve lost the best player of all time. It has hurt us and it hurt him too.” pic.twitter.com/P4t2r2bXy0
— Goal (@goal) August 8, 2021
“He’s the best footballer of all time, we have lost a lot with his departure,” the 34-year-old admitted on Good Morning America.
“But we have to adapt and play as well as we can without him, starting with the game against Real Sociedad.”