Liga - Pique: Pep is world's best coach despite our bust-ups

Gerard Pique has said Pep Guardiola remains the best Coach in the world but admits their relationship was strained at times.

In a wide-ranging interview with JotDown, Pique spoke on a number of topics, from his future plans and his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo to the early days with Lionel Messi and his impressions of Johan Cruyff.

“Yes, I want to be President of Barcelona,” Pique said.

“But there is a lot of time ahead.

“When I was 10 I wanted to be a football player and I got there, so we’ll see.

“I want to be President because this is my club, because I know inside, because my family - my grandfather - was a director and vice president.

“I have breathed this club since childhood.

“I love football and that comes first but I also like other things, like running a business.

“And in that sense, Barcelona would be exciting.”

On his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, Pique acknowledged that they used to be a lot closer than they are now.

“I’ve not spoken to him lately. I’ve changed my number several times.

“But I always speak well of Cristiano because I like him.

“People judge him without knowing him. To me he is a guy I like and who helped me a lot when I joined United.

“I like that he cried when getting the Ballon d’Or.

“He has a reputation but that showed he cared, that he’s sacrificed and suffered. I liked it.”

When the subject changed to his Coaches, Pique revealed he still remembers when Cruyff took charge of the Catalan XI but for him, Guardiola remains the best in the world.

“Guardiola is still the No.1 Coach and the one I learned most from.

“He taught me to understand football.

“Coaches show you that you have to do one thing or the other. Pep explained why I had to do it, the reasons.

“He helped me understand the game more and it’s something I’ll never forget. He’s the best.

“He already said he had given everything and was empty. Leaving was a personal decision.”

Despite his admiration for Guardiola, Pique confirmed they had some crossed words.

“My relationship with Pep at the end? It was a relationship…we’re very alike. Very intense.

“During the four years I learned a lot and still think he is the No.1.

“But it is true we had our ups and downs. I won’t go into details.

“I’ll take the good things he left us with and there are many of them.”

Pique also said that when Messi first joined Barca, the Coach asked the existing players to go easy on him, to not tackle him too hard, but Pique admitted they couldn’t get close enough to him to tackle him at all.

“I recall in the early months he sat alone a lot.

“He hardly spoke, took his time. I guess he needed space.

“The Coach asked us not to harm him…Even if we wanted to we could never reach him.

“He was very short but had brutal talent.

“Ronaldo wants to be the perfect player and he was like that at United.

“Leo is different. The same talent but maybe not as obsessive a worker.

“But when he gets the ball it’s like the rest of us are playing in slow motion, I swear.”

Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football