On the eve of the 181st “Clásicos” in history, all the wounds were open again. The dispute between the FC Barcelona team and the Bureau, the anger over Lionel Messi, the club’s leadership crisis, the 2: 8 against Bayern in the last Champions League season, the economic problems of the Catalans in times of the pandemic obvious division of the team. But also the moderate optimism that it could be enough to win against Real Madrid, which is also in crisis: Real has two embarrassments within four days, against FC Cádiz (0: 1) in the league, against Shakhtar Donetsk (2 : 3) in the Champions League. One reason for the current irritation in Barcelona: an interview by defender Gerard Piqué that was in the newspaper on Friday The vanguard appeared and in which he actually hardly left a stone unturned.

The 2: 8 against the later Champions League winner FC Bayern was a brand in the history of the club, explained Piqué. He is also still convinced that it was right to offer his resignation at the time. “I wouldn’t have had a problem if the management or the new coach hadn’t wanted to count on me anymore,” he said now. On Tuesday, when FC Barcelona defeated Hungarian champions Ferencvaros 5-1 in the Champions League, the club issued a communiqué stating that German goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, Clement Lenglet and Frenkie de Jong were injured and Piqué surprisingly extended their contracts early. Ter Stegen, 28, will stay until June 2025, de Jong and Lenglet until 2026; Piqué until 2024 or even: until he has reached the age of 37.

Piqué’s pension contract sparked discussions on various levels. Because Barcelona’s club management is in a state of upheaval, and against the current president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whose mandate is due to expire next year, a vote of no confidence has been exercised, which has prospects of success. Extending contracts in this situation means confronting the successor with a fait accompli.

Second, it annoyed the crew. Because: The club wants the professionals to pay their millions because of the serious bottlenecks. The team therefore announced the fight to the management in full (and in writing); in Barcelona it is whispered that Piqué and the other three professionals with the new contracts in the dressing room are viewed as showing no solidarity. As if the negotiations for a waiver weren’t difficult enough – because of the legacy of the relationship between the team and management.

One factor behind this is that the team council felt used by key personnel from the past season. Piqué now also complained that the responsibility for the dismissal of coach Ernesto Valverde in January was intended to be passed on to the squad. Shooting a coach after winning two championships and being the leader of the table didn’t seem particularly logical to him. Another, more important reason for the schism is the affair that caused waves under the name “Barçagate”. At that time it became public that the club had signed an Internet company called I3 Ventures – ostensibly to maintain the club’s image on social networks.


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