Manchester United all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney has revealed the reason why former manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sell Gerard Pique back to Barcelona.
The Spanish centre-back had joined Manchester United from Barcelona’s academy in 2004 and the decision to send him back to Spain was arrived at by Ferguson when he was ‘bullied’ in a defeat at Bolton.
Pique was just 20 years old then when United lost to Bolton in November 2007 and according to Rooney, the game at the Reebok Stadium sealed the defender’s fate.
“Bolton away more or less finished Gerard Pique’s career at United. He was young and got bullied there and I think that’s when Fergie decided that, physically, he wasn’t right for the Premier League.
“I always remember Vidic: If we were going to Bolton-and it was the same when he was about to face Didier Drogba-he would be in the gym for two or three days before, pumping himself up,” Rooney wrote in his piece with the Sunday Times.
Pique was at fault for the game’s only goal after he mistimed his jump to allow Nicolas Anelka in to score; the player getting substituted for Anderson before the hour mark.
Pique went on to become a fixture in Barcelona’s defence, winning three Champions League crowns-two of which came after beating United in the final.