Despite being top of La Liga, trouble is brewing at Barcelona.
Nobody is happy it seems, and there’s a very real possibility of them getting knocked out of the Champions League, which they could do if they lose to Borussia Dortmund at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
However, one of the biggest beefs right now is Gerard Pique, and specifically his focus or lack thereof, with many in Spain unhappy about his extra-curricular activities.
“Gerard Pique likes doing plenty of things outside football,” said Alvaro Romeo on this week’s European edition of the Totally Football Show, “and in fact Barcelona’s sponsor Rakuten came from him, not from their president. He has so many contacts because he’s married to Shakira, and the amount of people they know is unbelievable.
“The Davis Cup was played in Spain last week – Spain won. It was arranged by Pique, and because he’s not having the best of seasons – as well as many Barcelona players – he’s been heavily criticised for driving his attention to many different places. The Davis Cup is unfocusing him.
“Because his group Kosmos have invested $3000 million in the Davis Cup over the next 25 years, and he’s the visible face of the Cosmos group. Obviously there is some pressure on Pique, because he wants this event to be tremendously successful.
“You never want to say that Pique cannot do things outside football, but his performances on the pitch this season have not been as successful. He’s already received nine yellow cards (he won’t play against Borussia Dortmund because he’s suspended), he’s not as quick. This is just one of the other problems Barcelona have right now.”
So big are those problems that there was even an issue with a goal they scored this past weekend, as Alvaro explained:
“Against Leganes, Ernesto Valverde tried to change things, playing with a 4-2-3-1 which is unprecedented at Barcelona – they’ve been playing with a 4-3-3 since the days of Johan Cruyff.
“The second goal, scored by Arturo Vidal, it was a ‘disaster’ in itself: Vidal was in an offside position from a corner kick, the ball was deflected from a Leganes defender into his feet. But he was in a place where he shouldn’t have been.
“The easiest solution to fix this Barcelona problem would be to change the manager, rather than 24, 25 players. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose against Dortmund, because they deserved to at the Signal Iduna Park, they didn’t beat Slavia Prague, and forget about the record of 24 games unbeaten at the Nou Camp. These records come to an end, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens this week.”
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