Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has deflected praise for agreeing to a hefty salary cut on to the rest of his teammates, whom he stressed have agreed to do the same.
Ronald Koeman’s side finally confirmed the registrations of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and young Rey Manaj on Saturday, admitting that they could only do so because of Pique’s willingness to accept an enormous pay cut.
It’s an act of generosity which has seen Pique be lavished with praise for, while also simultaneously prompting some criticism of other veterans like Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets for their perceived refusal to do the same – allegations Pique stressed were unfounded.
“For timing, I was the first to cut my salary so that the registrations could be done, but I have discussed it with the other captains and we have all reached an agreement with the club, we are all going together,” Pique said (via Mundo Deportivo).
“Before the start of La Liga, it was necessary to make one official for registration, but it is everyone’s business, everyone has wanted to contribute and help the club.”
Following Pique’s clarification, Alba then took to the press to confirm his stance and blast those who have accused him of prioritising himself over the club.
“My love for Barça has always been total, I’ve been here all my life, ten years in the first team and eight in the academy,” he stressed. “I can speak for myself and for the president. We are all going in the same direction. As Pique said, the predisposition has always been the same. Now it will be our turn and there should be no doubt about us.
“What hurts me is that lies are told, I think I’ve shown how I feel about Barça, the club has given me a lot and we have to be grateful. What hurts me is the lies.
“I will give everything, as I have always done on the pitch, things can turn out better or worse, but no one can doubt the commitment. My predisposition has always been to help the club, just like the rest of the captains.”