Gerard Piqué at El Mundo Magazine
Here are some excerpts from the article on Gerard Piqué that appeared in this Sunday’s El Mundo Magazine. It appears that they went through his autobiography Viaje de ida y vuelta, found some anecdotes, and got his opinion on them, as well as on the upcoming game between Barcelona and Madrid. So, here are the parts about his life and the national team.
Blanes, Aug. 2, 1988. The ball escaped from his hands and headed towards the terrace. The 17-month-old baby ran after the ball. His grandmother was watching the pot on the stove. There was work being done on the house, and some of the railings weren’t in place. And the baby, in his chase after the ball, fell into space, hitting his head against the ramp of the garage. An ambulance was called, people cried and the child was in a coma for several hours. But after 24 hours, he woke up.
– My grandmother was the one that was most frightened, because she was the one taking care of me at that moment. But she’s gotten past it, thanks to God. Imagine if something had happened to me! There weren’t any negative consequences from the incident. We’ve talked about it at home several times, but I don’t remember it at all. I always asked about it because I’m curious as to what happened that day…
Gerard began playing in his cole, La Salle, in the neighborhood where his grandparents lived, Bonanova. He was always the tallest one in the classroom. And the blondest. At the age of seven, his father signed him up for the Torneo Social which was played on several fields adjoining those of Barça, and in which the teams have the names of Catalan rivers. Geri played for Team Anoia with a lilac shirt and shorts.
– I remember things from the age of five on, such as the World Cup in the U.S. and the Olympic Games in Barcelona. We also watched the final in Wembley at home. From school, I remember my great friend Pedret.
Cristiano Ronaldo was one of his biggest supports during his time in England.
– I get along very well with him. We talked a lot. He already liked Spain a lot back then, and he was always interested in news about Madrid, Barcelona, how the Liga was going. Three years ago we were in Manchester and tomorrow we’re playing the derby.
Piqué’s also become a fixture on the Spanish national team.
– There’s no debate over who I will play with, Spain or Cataluña, because at the moment only Spain is officialized.
And of course, the derby is being played one day after Cataluña’s elections.
– I hope we’ll be able to minimize the effect of the crisis as much as possible, to put the brakes on it and begin to grow. Here, you live very well. You have to continue to make sure people are comfortable, that they don’t feel defenseless.
Geri collaborates with several charitable organizations, including Talita, Ánima, Unicef and Barcelona’s foundation.
His cousin Montse has Down’s Syndrome. His goal in the Bernabéu in 2009 was dedicated to her: as soon as the ball entered the net, he started running and then pulled at the corner of his eyes so that they became slanted (i.e. Chinese eyes – se achinó los ojos).
– I did it for her. She likes it a lot and she laughs every time she sees me do that, because I always do this gesture when we see each other [not cool, Piqué, not cool at all.]
– those who have Down’s Syndrome are full of this mixture of innocence, tenderness and naughtiness. I know Vicente [del Bosque]’s son and he’s a real crack. They never see any problems and they’re always with you in the best and worse moments. My cousin Montse has always been a lesson of life for me, seeing how happy she is.
One. Salary. He has a contract until June 2015 and his buyout clause is €200 million. His salary is around €3 million a year.
Two. Trophies. At the age of 23, he’s won 11 club titles, in addition to a World Cup with the Spanish national team. He’s the youngest player in history to achieve this.
Three. Marketability. He’s the image of watch brand Time Force and Príncipe Double Choc cookies. He also has a long-term contract with Nike.
Four. Career. He played with Manchester United, but his goal was always to triumph in the club where he grew up, FC Barcelona.
Five. Fashion. He’s done some photo shoots with complete ease. Pepe Reina called him “the dandy of the national team.”
Six. Hobbies. He loves El Canto del Loco and Dani Martín, in addition to Rihanna. He vacations in Ibiza and Cambrills (Tarragona).
Seven. Personal life. He maintains his friendships from his childhood and his girlfriend is Núria Tomas. He laughs when asked about his alleged affair with Shakira.
Eight. Facebook. He created his profile on the social network a few months ago and now has half a million friends. He usually posts and uploads photos almost daily.