As Barcelona fans the world over pick themselves up from a very painful Saturday, football pundits globally are analyzing the match and the many questions it presents. Chief among these issues is the relatively inexperienced squad that Guardiola selected for such a defining match, and specifically the presence of Thiago and Tello in the starting eleven. Another question, perhaps overshadowed by the poor performance from both of these players, hints at a potentially deeper issue in the team: where was Gerard Pique?
In seasons past, Pique was the poster boy for the team, featuring centrally in every euphoric celebration of football glory. But after a campaign riddled with indifferent performances and niggling injuries, Guardiola seems to have lost faith in Pique, preferring Javier Mascherano in central defense instead. Indeed, Pique played no part in the match Wednesday in London, and did not feature for even a minute Saturday in a contest that was arguably Barcelona’s most important date of the season so far. And while it’s hard for me to argue with Guardiola’s assessment of Pique’s season so far, a question will haunt my dreams tonight: would Pique have let Ronaldo beat him for Madrid’s winning goal?
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