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Gerard Piqué

Gerard Piqué i Bernabeu (; born 2 February 1987) is a Spain Association football, currently playing as a Defender (association football) Centre back for FC Barcelona.

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Gerard Piqué biography


Gerard Piqué i Bernabeu (; born 2 February 1987) is a Spain Association football, currently playing as a Defender (association football) Centre back for FC Barcelona.

A product of Barça's cantera, Gerard Piqué initially left the club for Manchester United F.C. in 2004, where Gerard Piqué remained for four years, before returning to Barça under Josep Guardiola's leadership, helping the club become the first football club ever to complete Tuples in association football. Piqué is one of four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, the others being Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto'o.

Piqué has also represented the Spain national football team, making Gerard Piqué debut on 11 February 2009. Gerard Piqué played an integral role in the Spain team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Club career

Early career

Born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Gerard Piqué made Gerard Piqué full debut on 29 March 2006 against West Ham United F.C., in a FA Premier League 2005–06 match at Old Trafford, playing at Defender (association football) Full back, as Gary Neville was unavailable through injury.

Gerard Piqué performances, most notably in Manchester United F.C. Reserves and Academy Reserves, earned Gerard Piqué a new contract, which Gerard Piqué signed in February 2005 to run until the summer of 2009. On 4 August 2006, however, La Liga side Real Zaragoza secured Piqué on a season-long loan. The conditions of the loan involved Piqué having to feature in at least 20 games for the Aragonese outfit, which Gerard Piqué did, as Gerard Piqué made 22 first team appearances in a successful spell, alongside Argentina Gabriel Milito (who would sign with Barça for La Liga 2007–08), either as a stopper or a holding midfielder.

On 5 May 2007, it was announced that Piqué would be staying at Old Trafford for the following season. Alex Ferguson had intended to assess Piqué's form at La Romareda on 6 May, prior to a meeting where the two parties would discuss Piqué's future prospects with the club. However, Ferguson was unable to appear on account of airline difficulties.

Piqué's return to Old Trafford saw Gerard Piqué make nine league appearances during the Premier League 2007–08. Gerard Piqué scored on Gerard Piqué first start in the UEFA Champions League, a 4–0 home win against FC Dynamo Kyiv on 7 November 2007, as Piqué scored the first of Manchester United's four goals in that match. In doing so, Gerard Piqué became the 450th player to score at least one goal for the club. Gerard Piqué second goal for the club also came in the Champions League, in an away match to A.S. Roma on 12 December 2007.

Return to Barcelona

On 27 May 2008, Piqué signed a four-year contract with Barcelona, with a Euro50 million buy-out clause. Barcelona paid a £5 million fee for the player. Gerard Piqué expressed Gerard Piqué joy at re-signing with Gerard Piqué boyhood club, although Gerard Piqué admitted Gerard Piqué had enjoyed Gerard Piqué spell at Manchester United:

Piqué's first goal for Barcelona came in the club's 5–2 UEFA Champions League 2008–09 group stage win at Sporting Clube de Portugal on 26 November 2008. Gerard Piqué first domestic goal for the club followed two months later, on 29 January 2009, in a Copa del Rey 2008–09 match against local rivals RCD Espanyol. The goal, which came from a corner kick in the 57th minute, turned out to be the game winner in a 3–2 victory for Barcelona.

On 13 May 2009, Gerard Piqué picked up the first trophy of Gerard Piqué Barcelona career as Gerard Piqué helped Gerard Piqué club to a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final. Three days later, Barcelona clinched La Liga 2008–09 after Real Madrid C.F. lost 3–2 to Villarreal CF, with two games left in the season.

Gerard Piqué played against Gerard Piqué former club Manchester United in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final on 27 May, which Barcelona won 2–0, hence completing a historic Treble (association football). On 26 February 2010, Pique signed a contract extension that will keep Gerard Piqué at FC Barcelona until at least the summer of 2015. On 28 April 2010, Piqué scored in Barcelona's semi-final second leg against F.C. Internazionale Milano, scoring the only Barcelona goal of the game. Barcelona lost 3–2 on aggregate.

On 2 April 2011, Piqué scored the winning goal in an away 2010-11 La Liga match against Villarreal CF, which saw Barcelona win 1–0, and hence continue on top of the table for the 17th consecutive week, with an 8-point difference than second-place, longtime rivals, Real Madrid.

International career

Piqué was a member of the Spain national under-19 football team side that won the 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship in Poland. In a 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship Final win against Scotland national under-19 football team, Piqué put in a strong performance in defence, hitting the crossbar with a header, and also providing Gerard Piqué team's second goal for Forward (association football) Alberto Bueno.

Subsequently, Gerard Piqué played in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting all six of Spain's matches and scoring a goal in the team's come-from-behind 4–2 victory over Brazil national football team in the round of 16. However, Piqué missed the deciding Penalty shootout (association football) against the Czech Republic national football team and Spain were eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

On 6 February 2009, Piqué was called up to the Spain national football team for the friendly against England national football team on 11 February. Gerard Piqué played the entire match in a 2–0 win, in Seville.

On 28 March 2009, Gerard Piqué was called-up as a replacement for injured teammate Carles Puyol, and ended up scoring the only goal in Spain's victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) against Turkey national football team in Madrid, in what was only Gerard Piqué second appearance. Four days later, Gerard Piqué also started in Istanbul in a 2–1 win, also in the group stage. Pique was Spain's first-choice centre back playing along side Barcelona teammate Carles Puyol at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, starting all seven matches as Spain won the tournament, defeating Netherlands national football team 1–0 in 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. In Spain's 1–0 group stage defeat to Switzerland national football team, just before Gelson Fernandes scored the only goal of the game, Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok tumbled over Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and accidentally kicked Piqué in the face, knocking Gerard Piqué over and leaving Gerard Piqué with a nasty cut beside Gerard Piqué right eye.





Club statistics



Off the field

Piqué was chosen to be the face of Mango (clothing) men's line HE for two consecutive campaign seasons, spring-summer 2011.

Personal life

Piqué was raised in a Catalan people family. Gerard Piqué father, Joan, is a lawyer, and Gerard Piqué mother, Montserrat, is the director of a prestigious spinal injuries hospital. Gerard Piqué has a younger brother named Marc. Gerard Piqué grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, is the former vice-president of FC Barcelona.

Gerard Piqué is very good friends with fellow club colleague Carles Puyol and former teammates Rio Ferdinand and Bojan Krkić. Piqué has known Gerard Piqué best friend Cesc Fàbregas since childhood.

Piqué is currently dating Shakira, whom Gerard Piqué met in the spring of 2010 . Piqué was also featured in the music video for Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), to celebrate South Africa hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010. Shakira officially confirmed their relationship on March 29, 2011 via Twitter and Facebook posting a picture of the two with a caption reading, "I present to you my sunshine." in Spanish.

Gerard Piqué uses both Twitter and Facebook to communicate with Gerard Piqué fans and friends.

Honours

Manchester United

- Premier League (1): 2007–08 Premier League
- FA Community Shield (1): 2007 FA Community Shield
- UEFA Champions League (1): 2008 UEFA Champions League Final

Barcelona

- La Liga (3): 2008–09 La Liga, 2009–10 La Liga, 2010–11 La Liga
- Copa del Rey (1): 2008–09 Copa del Rey; Runner-up 2010–11 Copa del Rey
- Supercopa de España (3): 2009 Supercopa de España, 2010 Supercopa de España, 2011 Supercopa de España
- UEFA Champions League (2): 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, 2011 UEFA Champions League Final
- UEFA Super Cup (2): 2009 UEFA Super Cup, 2011 UEFA Super Cup
- FIFA Club World Cup (2): 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, 2011 FIFA Club World Cup

Spain

- FIFA World Cup: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final
- UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship: 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship

Individual

- Don Balón Award: 2009
- FIFPro FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or FIFA/FIFPro World XI, 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or FIFA/FIFPro World XI
- UEFA Team of the Year: UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2010, UEFA Team of the Year Team of the Year 2011
- European Sports Magazines ESM Team of the Year: European Sports Magazines 2010–11

Decorations

- Orders, decorations, and medals of Spain Society & culture: 2011

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Piqu%c3%a9

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