Barcelona: Gerard Pique’s planned TV interview ‘cancelled’ after Xavi imposes new rules
Gerard Pique ‘cancels a planned TV interview in Spain after new boss Xavi imposed strict new rules and ordered his squad to concentrate on football’
The club legend, who has returned to the Nou Camp after a two-year spell coaching Al-Sadd in Qatar, has promised to enforce new rules in his quest to bring back glory.
And Pique, a former team-mate of Xavi’s, looks to have fallen foul of them with his planned appearance on El Horminguero scrapped, as claimed by COPE via Sport.
Gerard Pique has seen a TV appearance cancelled after Xavi became Barcelona’s new coach
Veteran defender Pique was set to speak to Pablo Motos next week, but will now remain focused on his football instead in the new manager’s crackdown.
The 34-year-old has been widely involved with spending time in the public eye during his career, being married to pop star Shakira and now running tennis’s Davis Cup competition among other business interests, and has never shied away from speaking to the media.
It is unclear whether Xavi’s new rules are the only reason behind the cancellation, but Sport are adamant that they have played a significant part.
Club legend Xavi (centre) was introduced to his players this week after his Nou Camp return
Pique has fallen foul of the new rules of Xavi, which tighten up activities away from the field
Xavi was announced as the club’s new head coach on Monday and took his first training session on Tuesday, during the international break.
His ground rules include a tightening over the activities of his players away from the pitch, such as conducting TV appearances.
Explaining his insistence for order, Xavi said: ‘It is not necessary to be harsh. It is a matter of order and rules. As in all companies.
‘When I have had rules, I have done well. And when not, we have gone wrong. You have to put them and comply with them. There is no more. It is not discipline.’
Xavi and Joan Laporta spoke to the large crowd and lapped up their acclaim for the unveiling
Pique is currently injured and therefore unable to train with his team-mates, but he was present for Xavi’s first day at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
The two men shared a warm embrace while president Joan Laporta watched on, and Pique remained around for the session, observing from the sidelines.
After putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal, with his release clause at Al-Sadd having been met, the hard work has begun in earnest for Xavi.
Boss Xavi has already looked to rouse his squad as they bid to kickstart their ailing campaign
Pique is currently out injured but had been re-introduced to former team-mate Xavi this week
He finds his fallen giants languishing in ninth in LaLiga, already 11 points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad.
Their route into the last-16 of the Champions League is far from secured, too, with two matches of the group stage phase still remaining.
Xavi must also be mindful of the off-field chaos at the Nou Camp, which sees Barcelona over £1billion in debt and reeling from the effects of the pandemic.