Gerard Pique explains pay cut decision to help Barcelona register new signings

Pique reduced his salary so that Barca could officially register their new signings with La Liga, once of whom was Memphis Depay, who fittingly assisted the new club captain to score in their win against Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp on Sunday

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Koeman says Barcelona must move on after Messi exit

Gerard Pique has explained his decision to take a pay cut in order for Barcelona to register their new signings.

The likes of Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia were unable to be registered as new players due to Barca being over their salary cap, a regulation imposed on all La Liga clubs.

With fears neither would officially be added to the squad ahead of the opening weekend of the new season, Pique took the decision to reduce his wage so that the duo, and Austrian starlet Yusuf Demir, were available for selection.

The 34-year-old was rewarded for his gesture with an early goal – assisted by Depay no less – in the Blaugrana’s 4-2 win against Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

Ronald Koeman’s side began life without Lionel Messi after the six-time Ballon d’Or winner departed for Paris Saint-Germain due to “financial and structural obstacles.”

Gerard Pique took a pay cut so that the likes of Eric Garcia (left) could be registered as a new Barcelona player

Following the victory, Pique told Movistar post-match of his decision: “I was born and raised here. I have done what I had to do, with the reduction we have been in contact with the captains and I know that they will also take the step, it is a matter of timing.

“I did it quickly for the registrations,” he revealed.

“We are a family. We will fight together.”

The ex-Manchester United defender, who spent a portion his youth playing for hometown club Barcelona, has now been touted as a future president by former Barca star Gary Lineker.

After Pique opened the scoring with a thumping header in the 19th minute, Lineker tweeted : “How wonderfully apposite that Gerard Pique should score Barcelona’s first goal of the season.

“A President in waiting.”

Local outlet Sport report that in return for the pay cut, Pique’s contract will automatically be extended until 2024 rather than be subject to him making a certain number of appearances in 2021-22 as the centre-back has entered the final 12 months of his deal.

The Blaugrana faithful, who returned to the Nou Camp for the first time since the beginning of the global pandemic, were only 30,000-strong but witnessed a fine performance.

Although the remnants of the Messi fallout were seen with an applause in the 10th minute and criticism of president Joan Laporta, their 3-0 lead heading into the closing stages put the crowd in jubilant mood.

However, two goals in four minutes from Sociedad made for a gripping final few minutes, which ended in relief for Barcelona as Sergi Roberto netted in added-time when he finished a slick counter-attack.

Striker Martin Braithwaite had grabbed the pair of strikes between Pique and Roberto’s efforts, as Koeman and co made a winning start to their La Liga campaign.

Champions Atletico and rivals Real Madrid also won their first matches, boding well for another enthralling three-way title race in Spain this term.

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