Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has revealed how Spanish international and former teammate Gerard Piqué was bullied out of the English premier league.
Gerard Piqué spent four years at Manchester United before rejoining Barcelona in 2008. The center back within the four years featured just 23 times in all competitions for United. He in the process won the League, Community shield and the UEFA Champions league.
In May 2008, Piqué joined Barcelona for £5 million. He went on to win 28 laurels and establish himself as one of the best center backs in the business.
Piqué’s success at Barcelona as left lots questioning why the young center back was axed at Manchester United by Alex Fergurson.
According to Wayne Rooney, everything was decided in November 2007 when United lost 1-0 to Bolton Wanderes, courtesy a 11th minute Anelka strike after a Piqué blunder. Piqué was substituted in the 59th minute of the game.
“Bolton away more or less finished Gerard Pique’s career at United,” wrote Rooney in his Sunday Times column.
“He was young and got bullied there and I think that’s when Fergie decided that, physically, he wasn’t right for the Premier League.
“I always remember [Nemanja] Vidic: if we were going to Bolton — and it was the same when he was about to face Didier Drogba — he would be in the gym for two or three days before, pumping himself up.”
Rooney recounted on how it was like to play Bolton away from home.
“Bolton away was always horrible,” he continued. “It was physical and you knew you had to win the fight to win the game.
“I remember [Patrice] Evra saying about Kevin Davies: ‘I hate this person’. On throw-ins Kevin would go and pin the full back with his elbows all over their face and in challenges when the ball went down the line he would leave his foot in.”
“Bolton had bits of quality too and the way they fought and worked as a unit, then found moments to use that quality, was typical of how a team can beat better players by being more than the sum of its parts.”
Rooney also talked of how hard work can win you games.
“It happened when United played Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League semi-final. Barca played the better football by a mile in both legs and that was 180 minutes of pure hard work, of hanging in there, and riding your luck.
“Real teams realise that sometimes you have to win ugly.”
Pique since rejoining Barcelona has won 28 major honors, he has also established himself as one of the best center backs in the game.