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Gerard Pique has paid tribute to his treatment by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson following his move back to his hometown club Barcelona.

Gerard Pique, the 21-year-old Catalan defender who made 13 appearances for Manchester United during their double-winning season, has rejoined Barcelona after four years at Old Trafford.

He told United's website: "I am leaving with some very special memories, most of all the experience of being part of a fantastic group.

"Obviously I would have liked to have played more this season, but the manager has always treated me in an exceptional manner, for which I am extremely grateful.

"I would like the fans to know that I will always carry United in my heart and I hope that they understand my decision to go back to my home club."
 

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Pique: Thanks for everything

Gerard Pique this week agreed to join former club Barcelona, but before he left he asked ManUtd.com to publish a letter of thanks to the club, staff and fans...

I didn't want to say goodbye without thanking all the club personnel, including the football equipment manager, masseuses, secretaries, coaches, and especially my team mates, who have always treated me well and played a vital role in my development, both as a football player and more importantly, on a personal level.

Obviously I would have liked to play more this season, but I must say that despite some difficult decisions, the manager has always treated me in an exceptional manner, for which I am extremely grateful.

I am leaving with some very special memories: scoring a Champions League goal at Old Trafford, beating Arsenal in April on the way to winning the title and, most of all, the experience of being part of this fantastic group that won the Premier League and Champions League Double.

Finally, a special thanks to the fans for their warmth and support. I would like them to know that I will always carry United in my heart and I hope that they understand my decision to go back to my home club, FC Barcelona.

Thank you all and I hope to see you in the Champions League final next season.

Gerard Pique

www.manutd.com
 

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I'm sorry to see him leave. :( It was always going to be inevitable that if Barca came for him, he'd go back home. Best of luck to him, he'll become a great player in the next few years.
I'm glad that there are no hard feelings there
 

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marty davidson said:
Fergie should have give the lad a lot more games
Why? and leave out Rio or Vidic? I dont think so.....
Every game is important (bar maybe the Carling Cup and dead games in Europe,
when we have already qualified)
Thats when the likes of Rio and Vidic dont play, unless they are injured of course.
but other than that, they should play every game as it's vital to our success.
 

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i'm realy upset Pique left ...he could have been a great asset at the team..and as long as he played..he did it very well...anyway..i'm glad he left with recognition to the club...and...what can i say more...good luck in your career..who knows...maybe someday he'll be back
 

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Pique is my favourite player and i was upset when he left. He is a great player and will only get better. Pique will always be in heart and I'll always be grateful for my birthday card I got from him. Im sad but I look forward to watching him in La Liga next season.

Good luck Pique and sure you will be very successful with your beloved Barcelona.
 

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The mistake we made was letting him go on loan to Zaragoza when he should have gone to another Premership club on loan to get more experience as he is too laid back at the moment to be a CB in the premiership.

A year's loan in England would have given him more aggression. If he had gone on Loan he would have played more this season IMO in the games when rio or vidic was out.
 

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Nice read but a sigh...

To Sir Alex - with many thanks from Barcelona | The Manchester United fans blog - Truly Reds

There are few things in this world that gives more satisfaction than watching an innocent, starry eyed child develop into a mature, successful man. It can happen in any walk of life but more so in football where there are relatively few opportunities in a dog eat dog environment. One such man is Spain and Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique who came to Manchester United from the Spain as a 17 year old and stayed four years before returning home. At the age 24 he is now a World Cup, twice Champions League, twice La Liga and a Premier League winner yet he still rates those early years at Old Trafford under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson as immensely critical to his success.

“My relationship with Ferguson was always very good. He knew I had the quality to be a good central defender and will always be grateful to him for the way he treated me” he still says today. Pique has come a long way since the time when as a young boy at United, he was handed a video of Italy’s AC Milan legend Franco Baresi and told to watch and learn.

“I was given the film by one of the coaches, Jim Ryan, because he said that I shared some of his characteristics and that I could learn a lot from him” he says remembering the moment back in 2004 when United’s backroom staff began the job of grooming the former Barcelona youngster into a Premier League defender.

If he needs to draw any deeper for inspiration then he can always call on those formative years spent at Old Trafford. “My style suits Barcelona’s style of play. I came through the system there and the way I play now is the way I was taught to play as a 13 year old” he says.

Pique was given his Champions League debut by Sir Alex in a 3-0 defeat to Fenerbahce and he took his place in the stands in Moscow in 2008 when United beat Chelsea on penalties to win the tournament. “To play alongside players such as Rio, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, who for me is one of the greatest players in the history of football, is unforgettable and invaluable in terms of what I then went on to do.”

“I speak with Rio on Twitter sometimes” Pique admits. The Spaniard suggests that Ferdinand whose career has been so blighted of late by injury, has perhaps not been given the recognition his achievements deserve. “What you have to remember about Rio is that he always cost so much money, he has always had to maintain a very high level to justify the price tags. That is why the fact that he has always performed game after game, season after season, at such a high level has so much value. Nobody could have asked any more of him throughout his career.”

The Pique relationship with Ferguson was always a healthy one. The manager took the young defender and his parents to dinner when he had just arrived at the club, despite suffering a defeat on the Saturday – something that had a big impact on the new arrival. So much so that he admits he was filled with trepidation when the moment came to tell his manager that he wanted to head home. “I learnt so much on a professional and personal level” he says of his four seasons on United’s books.

Pique left United before he was really tested in England. He had reached the point in his career when he needed to play regularly or move on, United possessed the finest central defensive pairing in the world – the same one they have now, only back then they were fit every week and undroppable.

The Spain defender came face to face with both Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in the Champions League final in Rome one year after he flew the United nest. He came out on top and his former manager Ferguson was one of the first to congratulate him.

“To find myself up against the players who just a year earlier I had shared a piece of history with – winning the League and European Cup double, was very emotional and to see Ferguson again was special. We spoke after the game and he said that we had been worthy winners and that meant a lot to me.”

Depending on where the wheel of fortune comes to a halt this season, the young man who came to Old Trafford as a kid may once again face his former mentor and team mates in another Champions League Cup Final at Wembley. Whatever happens, there cannot be any doubt that the mutual respect will always remain.
 

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Pique, you are a duplicitous twat.

Remember when he first left, and he was bitching about United players binging on burgers and booze? Immediately after winning the double, no less.
 

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Pique, you are a duplicitous twat.

Remember when he first left, and he was bitching about United players binging on burgers and booze? Immediately after winning the double, no less.
A sombre reminder indeed but still, he is ever grateful to United for what he has achieved thus far.
 
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