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Gerard Pique wants to continue at Barcelona despite being fifth-choice CB for Xavi

Gerard Pique has enjoyed an illustrious career at Barcelona since returning to Catalonia from Manchester United in the summer of 2008. However, the 35-year-old’s career at the top level is in its final phase as he enters the 2022/23 campaign.

The veteran defender put up some extremely impressive displays in the second half of the last season. What made them even more standout is the fact that Pique had been playing with an injury for quite some time.

However, it took a toll on the former Spanish international, who missed the last few fixtures of the campaign due to a recurring adductor injury. Pique has returned to pre-season but is not believed to be 100% fit.

And SPORT is now reporting that the veteran Spaniard will be the fifth-choice centre-back in manager Xavi’s plans for the upcoming campaign.

That is quite a steep drop for the Barça icon, who was the first-choice at the heart of the defence last season. But Ronald Araujo has firmly established himself as the leader of this new-look Barcelona defence.

And considering the length to which the Blaugrana went to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla, the Frenchman is all set to pair up with Araujo as the first-choice centre-back pairing.

Andreas Christensen is also likely to play a prominent role after featuring regularly in the pre-season and making a good impression every time he took the field. Barcelona will also have Eric Garcia to count upon, meaning Pique will be rendered to the fifth-choice centre-back role.

Given the uncertain situation surrounding him due to his fitness issues, it is not hard to understand Xavi’s decision.

And Pique seemingly understands the same and is willing to stay at the club and help in any way he can. Indeed, the 35-year-old recently confirmed to journalist Juli Claramunt (h/t Gerard Romero) that he will be staying put at Barcelona.

While he might be unable to play as much, Pique can still offer plenty to his relatively young Barça side with his experience, knowledge and winning mentality.

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