Many veteran players had to leave Barcelona over the last few years as it seemed inevitable the club needed rebuild. But Gerard Pique was one of the few to have survived to the clearout, staying to lead the team's resurrection.
The experienced defender has spent a lifetime with Los Cules, having briefly left Camp Nou for Manchester United before he returned and built a legacy donning the Blaugrana. He may have responsibility for the team's failures over the last few years as well, but that's another story.
Pique has become a leader in Barcelona's locker room and, therefore, he tried to play an important role to convince players to join the club or stay at it, although that didn't work with Neymar. Recently, the 34-year-old admitted he spoke to a current Real Madrid player, who'll he face this weekend in a game to be broadcast in the US by ESPN+, when he was about to join Barcelona.
Gerard Pique admits a Real Madrid player was on the verge of joining Barcelona
It's no secret that Barcelona's transfer business over the last few years has been quite poor, as many of their signings failed to impress and had to find a new team shortly after. But what if they had a current Real Madrid star on their ranks?
Well, Los Blancos seem to have stolen a player from Los Cules' noses not long ago. Talking to Spanish famous streamer Ibai, Gerard Pique revealed that Vinicius Junior's arrival at Barcelona was all but done until Real Madrid made him change his mind with a late, lucrative offer.
"Do you know he almost signed for Barca?", Pique asked the streamer on Monday. "(Real Madrid) offered him double. I spoke to him before he went to Madrid, and he admitted it was done with Barca. It was done."
"I don't remember why (I spoke to him), it was to welcome him into the dressing room," Pique said. "It was done. Madrid arrived at the last second and offered him everything."
Earlier this year, Los Cules' former scout in South America Andre Cury said the Blaugrana and Vinicius had an agreement but his agents ultimately 'betrayed' the club. Now, Pique confirmed he was well aware he could have been teammate with the rivals' sensational winger.
However, that move has never materialized and they have never shared a locker room. And on Sunday that won't even matter, as the only thing they'll care about is who's getting the upper hand in El Clasico, which will be broadcast by ESPN+ in the US.