Despite being a promising graduate of the Barcelona training academy, Gerard Pique left to join Manchester United at the tender age of 17. After two years there polishing his skills, the central defender was loaned out for the 2007/07 season to Real Zaragoza, where he continued his development in the Spanish top flight. The following season saw him return to Old Trafford and make nine appearances for United in the Premiership as well as his debut in the UEFA Champions League.
After tasting league and Champions League success with the Red Devils, Pique returned to his native Barcelona, where he has blossomed under Josep Guardiola. A formidable barrier in the heart of defence, he also possesses an impressive aerial game, which he is not averse to using in attack when opportunities arise.
Still just 23, Pique is fast improving with the ball at his feet. Moreover, he makes up for what he lacks in speed with his fine positional sense and ability to contain opponents without committing himself. He benefits also from a powerful build and superior strength when he pushes forward to join in the attack, usually as the starting point for lightning-quick counter-attacking raids.
The defender also possesses a ready smile and optimistic outlook, traits that have helped him cope with on-field pressures and challenges and equipped him well for the future.
A regular for his national team at every youth level - he was a member of the La Roja side that won the UEFA European U-19 Championship in 2006 - Vicente del Bosque handed him his senior debut in a friendly against England in February 2009. In his next full international, a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier against Turkey, Pique not only made the starting 11, but notched the goal that earned his side victory