The Spanish defender has revealed the former Manchester United coach, Louis van Gaal once told him he was not strong enough to play for Barcelona

In a candid interview with TV3, where he talks about a wide range of topics, Pique has revealed how the then Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal once pushed him to the floor and told him he won’t make it the club because the defender, who was emerging through the youth ranks at the time, wasn’t strong enough.

Looking back at his early days, the La Masia product told TV3, “You never knew if he (Louis van Gaal) would be the first-team coach when you got there. He pushed me, he threw me to the floor. He told me I wasn’t strong enough to be a Barcelona player. He destroyed me. At Barcelona we didn’t do gym work until the age of 18. That was really hard.”

Gerard Pique has emerged as one of the best defenders in the world since returning back to Barcelona. (Photo credit: ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Gerard Pique has emerged as one of the best defenders in the world since returning back to Barcelona. (Photo credit: ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

It would be an understatement to say the Dutch coach got that assessment wrong, with the 29-year-old defender emerging as one of the best players in his position since, winning 7 league tittles, 3 Champions League trophies and a World Cup along side a host of other individual awards.

During the interview, Pique also expressed his desire to remain involved with Barcelona after he ends his playing career; “I want to be president of Barca. It’s a step I’d like to take when I retire and when I say things I mean them.”

However, he added he has no intentions of becoming a manager, stating “I don’t see myself as a manager. I don’t think I would enjoy it as much. As a president I could do really well for this club, because it’s what I am passionate about. My playing career will [one day] come to an and and the step I’d like to take is to become Barcelona president.”

The comments come at a time when the defender has decided to call it quits from the national team after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. While Pique doesn’t really enjoy a straightforward relationship with the Spanish crowd, primarily due to his close association with Catalan and the regular digs at Madrid, the decision still came as a shock to the footballing world. Barcelona, however, wouldn’t necessarily be complaining about that decision.