Coronavirus reaches Egyptian parliament    Al-Sisi, Macron discuss Libya developments, agree on further consultations    In Photos: Remembering Egyptian actress Madiha Yousri    Premier League gets government approval to pursue restart    Britain at a very dangerous moment in the pandemic, health official says    ITIDA, Udacity launch online skills-based training initiative    Lessons from China's COVID-19 response    8 exceptional flights will repatriate 1,400 Egyptian stranded in Lebanon    Egypt's trade deficit falls 35% in four months – minister    COVID-19 accelerates HSBC existing transformation plans to digital services: Group General Manager    EBRD launches online learning hub for MSMEs    Hong Kong officials say Trump 'completely wrong' to end city's special status    New road bridge project open in UAE's Ajman – ministry    Farwell to 89-year old Egyptian actor Hassan Hosny    Veteran Hassan Hosny leaves behind 50 year star-studded legacy    Costs of building materials in UAE decline amid coronavirus    IMF approves medium-term, $1.186 bln budget for FY 2021/23    India posts record jump in COVID-19 cases, Modi says 'long battle' ahead    Premier League boss optimistic fans can return next season    Thousands ignore Minneapolis curfew as US protests spread    Coppa Italia final to be played before Serie A restart    Egypt confirms record jump of 1,289 coronavirus cases on Friday    Egypt uses app, drug deliveries to follow up with coronavirus patients at home    Uber offers hourly ride booking option in some U.S. cities    U.S. senators urge probe of TikTok on Kids' privacy    Turkey may start oil exploration under Libya deal in 3-4 months: minister    Google postpones Android next week's planned 11 unveiling amid U.S. protests    Israeli police kill unarmed Palestinian in Jerusalem    Louvre, France's most visited museum plans to re-open its doors in early July    European head of WTO would be "wonderful" says EU trade chief    'It's like a return to life', despite an empty auditorium: Paris orchestra plays Strauss in COVID-19 era    Ethiopia says it won't accept Egypt's ‘historic rights' to Nile water    Minneapolis mayor calls for arrest of police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck    Egypt removes 484 illegal constructions and encroachments on Nile    Salah did not pressure administration to include players on team: Ghazal    173 illegal constructions on waterways in Damietta referred to military prosecution    MACIC celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity with webinar    Grand Museum receives 346 artefacts from Old, Middle Kingdoms    European football set to restart despite coronavirus    Sisi congratulates Egyptians on occasion of Eid Al-Fitr    Egypt's Sisi congratulates Egyptians on the occasion of Eid El-Fitr    Egypt's interior ministry gives gifts to families of policemen killed or injured in the line of duty    Egyptian police kill 21 terrorists who plotted attacks on Eid El-Fitr    Italy's football federation sets August 20 as deadline for finishing season    Egypt's decision to resume sports activities breathes life into hopes to restart league    Egyptian Premier League final decision to be taken before May-end: minister    Egypt's 12 MPs came into contact with coronavirus infected parliamentarian    iRead launches new activities, competitions to pread the passion for reading    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Indispensable Pique returns 'home' to Old Trafford with Barcelona
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 04 - 2019

All eyes will be on strike duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as Barcelona visit Manchester United in the Champions League this week, but defensive lynchpin Gerard Pique is proving equally important to the Catalans' treble bid.
The centre back returns to Old Trafford for the first time since he left Manchester United in 2008 to rejoin Barcelona, in Wednesday's quarter-final first leg.
Joining the Red Devils in 2004 from Barcelona as a 16-year-old, Pique learned important lessons during some tough seasons in the north of England.
The defender never managed to secure a regular starting spot, with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic ahead of him, but was surrounded by elite players to glean wisdom from.
However, after a harrowing afternoon at Bolton Wanderers in 2007 where Pique made a mistake which handed Nicolas Anelka an easy goal, the defender lost the confidence of then-coach Alex Ferguson.
He negotiated a passage back to Barcelona, perhaps the first sign that he would later turn into an entrepreneur as well as an elite footballer.
"I arrived at Manchester United a boy, and I left a man," Pique said in a Player's Tribune article.
"I walked into (Ferguson's) office, and I was honest with him. I said, 'Listen, I feel like I've lost your trust. Barcelona is my home. I want to go back. I hope you will let me go.'"
Pique returned to Barcelona for 5 million euros ($5.62 million) as a reserve with low expectations, but by the end of his first season under Pep Guardiola he had become a key player in the 2008-09 treble-winning side.
There have been ups and downs since, but seven La Liga titles, three Champions League wins and multiple other trophies decorate his honours list, as well as the 2010 World Cup victory with Spain.
Pique has been in sublime form this campaign, driving his side towards another league title, although the trophy the squad wants to win most is the Champions League.
With coach Ernesto Valverde resting the 32-year-old for the first time all season in Spain's top flight, Barcelona shipped four goals in a 4-4 draw with Villarreal last week.
The defender returned to shut out Atletico Madrid in a 2-0 win on Saturday that left Barca 11 points clear with seven matches remaining and attention now turning to Old Trafford.
"I'm coming back to my second home," wrote Pique on Twitter after the Champions League draw in March pitted Barcelona and United together.
Pique denied United in Barcelona's 2-0 Champions League final win in Rome in 2009 and is aiming to pull off the same trick again on Wednesday.
With Suarez and Messi in scintillating form up front, the hosts may need to try and out-score Barcelona, but they will find the man they let go so cheaply standing in their way.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


Clic here to read the story from its source.