July 18, 2024

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique ‘considering Spain return for the World Cup’ amid rise in form

3 min read
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique ‘considering Spain return for the World Cup’ amid rise in form

Gerard Pique is ‘considering a Spain return ahead of the World Cup in Qatar’ FOUR years after the Barcelona defender retired from international football

  • Gerard Pique is set to come out of retirement for Spain ahead of the World Cup
  • The Barcelona veteran bowed out from international football back in 2018
  • But reports suggest he wants to make himself available for the 2022 World Cup
  • Luis Enrique must now decide whether recalling Pique makes sense for the team
  • His Spain side have been in impressive form, but Pique’s experience could be key

Gerard Pique is reportedly set to come out of international retirement and make himself available for Spain ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Barcelona defender called time on his Spain career after their disappointing last-16 exit at the 2018 World Cup, bowing out with 102 caps and two major titles in the bag.

Yet almost four years since retiring from international duty, El Mundo are reporting that he is now considering a return ahead of this year’s World Cup, which gets underway in November.

Gerard Pique is reportedly set to come out of retirement for Spain ahead of the World Cup

Gerard Pique is reportedly set to come out of retirement for Spain ahead of the World Cup

Pique is still a regular starter for Barca at the age of 35, featuring in 22 La Liga matches this season and recently enjoying a rise in form since old team-mate Xavi took charge as manager.

It is this upturn in performance level which has tempted him to throw his name back in the ring for Spain, as he is now eyeing a shock return in Qatar.

While he is yet to get in touch with Enrique and reveal his intentions, Pique is planning to do exactly that if nothing changes in the near future.

Pique retired from international football on the back of Spain's disappointing 2018 World Cup

Pique retired from international football on the back of Spain’s disappointing 2018 World Cup

But amid a rise in recent form at Barcelona, he is now considering making himself available

But amid a rise in recent form at Barcelona, he is now considering making himself available

Pique's potential U-turn will leave Spain boss Luis Enrique with a big decision to make

Pique’s potential U-turn will leave Spain boss Luis Enrique with a big decision to make

Enrique is understood to have asked Pique if his decision to retire from international football was final when appointed manager for the first time in 2018, and when he confirmed exactly that the centre-back was no longer considered for inclusion.

Nevertheless, now the Spain boss potentially has a big decision on his hands if he U-turns on that decision ahead of the World Cup.

He is a huge admirer of Pique, who was a key member of his Barca side which won two Spanish titles and the Champions League, yet recently Spain have been reaping the rewards of a younger, fresher squad containing a small number of experienced pros.

La Roja have won their last six matches under Enrique and finished top of their World Cup qualifying group, taking 19 points from a possible 24. 

The 35-year-old was part of the Spain squad that clinched the World Cup back in 2010

The 35-year-old was part of the Spain squad that clinched the World Cup back in 2010

He may therefore deem Pique surplus to requirements amid the national team’s shift away from the golden era which delivered two European Championships and the World Cup under Vicente del Bosque.

The likes of Inigo Martinez, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia and Pau Torres could well be ahead of him in the pecking order, meaning his intention to come out of retirement could prove futile.

The aforementioned quartet do lack his experience, however, and should Enrique deem Pique’s inclusion necessary he will not be fazed by the headlines recalling him would create. 

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