Gerard Pique is one of the most decorated defenders ever to grace European football.
The 33-year-old centre-back has won three Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles so far in his twelve years at Barcelona and has won the World Cup and European Championships with Spain.
But once upon a time at Manchester United, Pique could not make it into Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting eleven.
Former coach Rene Meulensteen says there were reservations at the club over how he would suit the Premier League, and he was sold in 2008 to boyhood club Barcelona after making just six league starts.
Speaking on the The Michael Anthony Show, Meulensteen revealed why he felt the Spanish international left Old Trafford for the Nou Camp.
“The reason why Pique was gone was that Gerard was a very strong minded person,” he said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.
“He knew exactly what he wanted and he knew he was good enough to play first team football. However, was Gerard the ideal and right centre-back for a league like the Premier League?
“It has to be said ‘not too sure’. I’m sure he would have become okay because I’m a big fan of Gerard but the proof is in the pudding for him — he made the right decision. He’s one of the most decorated players.
“The problem we had is Vidic just walked through the door half a year before.”
Pique was an ambitious player and he has had his ambitions met over his illustrious career. His longevity has also been impressive, as he still remains an ever-present in the Barcelona starting eleven.
Letting a player of such quality leave obviously backfired but Pique inevitably made the right decision for his career.
At the time of the Spaniard’s exit, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were creating the best central defensive partnership in world football.