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Wayne Rooney reveals the game that ‘finished Gerard Pique’s Manchester United career’


The centre-back only made 12 Premier League appearances before re-joining Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

Wayne Rooney has revealed that Gerard Pique’s poor performance against Bolton ultimately led to his departure from Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson deciding he wasn’t suited to the Premier League.

The Spanish centre-back spent four years with the Red Devils, joining from Barcelona’s academy in 2004, though unsurprisingly struggled to get into a team that had Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic and was sold back to the Catalan giants for just £5million.

He won La Liga in his first season back at Camp Nou, doing so seven more times, as well as winning three Champions League titles – beating old club United in 2009 and 2011 – and also winning the World Cup and European Championship.

Pique had the last laugh, dominating with Barcelona in Europe (Picture: Getty)

Sir Alex would later admit he made a mistake letting Pique leave, though the centre-back was desperate for more game time and wanted to return to Catalonia.

Now Rooney has claimed that Ferguson gave up on Pique when he was ‘bullied’ by Bolton in a Premier League clash in November 2007, with the Spaniard subbed off after 59 minutes for Anderson as the Red Devils lost 1-0.

‘Bolton away more or less finished Gerard Pique’s career at United,’ explained Rooney in his column for the Sunday Times.

‘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.’

He continued: ‘Bolton away was always horrible. It was physical and you knew you had to win the fight to win the game. I remember Evra saying about Kevin Davies: “I hate this person.”

Pique didn’t enjoy his rough treatment in an away trip to Bolton (Picture: Getty)

‘On throw-ins Kevin would go and pin the full back with his elbows all over their face and in challenges when the ball went down the line he would leave his foot in.

‘Bolton had bits of quality too and the way they fought and worked as a unit, then found moments to use that quality, was typical of how a team can beat better players by being more than the sum of its parts. It happened for Everton in the 1995 FA Cup final — I still don’t know how we beat United that day.

‘It happened when United played Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League semi-final. Barca played the better football by a mile in both legs and that was 180 minutes of pure hard work, of hanging in there, and riding your luck. Real teams realise that sometimes you have to win ugly.’

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