Gerard Pique spoke about Manchester United on his first return to Old Trafford with Barcelona, since leaving the side in 2008.
Manchester United will host Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
The Catalan side will aim to take a significant advantage over United in the first half, as they’re wary of the side’s exploits in the second leg – thanks to their stunning comeback against PSG last month.
The game also sees the return of defender Gerard Pique to Manchester United for the first time since his Old Trafford departure in 2008.
He joined Barca’s manager Ernesto Valverde for the pre-match conference on Monday, and spoke about his return to Manchester.
Gerard Pique on Man Utd:
The defender left Manchester United in 2008 for Barcelona after lifting the Champions League title with the Old Trafford outfit.
Pique was respectful towards his former club, stating that Manchester United is the biggest club in England.
“They have always been the biggest team in England,” Pique said. “All big sides go through good times and bad times, and there are periods of transition.”
Gerard Pique stated that his was a learning experience at Manchester United, insisting that he returned a different person when he left Old Trafford.
“It’s a special game, I went from being a youngster to a man, I spent part of my youth here, I learnt a lot, not just on the field but off it.
“I was here from 17 to 21, I had my first experience as a professional, playing games with great names and I also had some crazy times here.
“I left my family and friends and came to live on my own. I learnt a lot and returned a different person.”
The Barcelona centre-back also talked about United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was his teammate during his time at Old Trafford.
I remember Ole as a great team-mate – when I arrived here I was 17, I was very young, he was one of the older players,” he said.
“He helped me a lot to adapt to the club, to the country and the city. It was a great experience playing alongside him, he helped me a lot and I’m very happy to see him in charge of the club.”
How Twitter reacted..
Solskjaer on Pique: “I used to play with him, actually I played here in a reserve final. I scored, and Gerard scored, we won 2-0 against Tottenham. Kieran McKenna, our coach, played in that game. I don’t know if that tells you how young I am or how old Gerard is!” pic.twitter.com/U6pMGGjodV
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) April 9, 2019
— Gerard Piqué | HQ (@3gerardpiqueHQ) April 9, 2019
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 9, 2019
Pique will line up against Manchester United tonight for the first leg of the quarterfinal. Take a look at Barcelona’s predicted lineup for the game here.