FC Barcelona had a miserable season in 2021-22 after struggling to find inspiration after the forced departure of former captain Lionel Messi. The arrival of former player turned new manager Xavi Hernandez proved to be a pivotal point for the club. They managed to finish La Liga in second place, something that seemed impossible at the halfway point of the campaign. Now, Xavi is focused on the future, and questions have been raised about the fate of veteran Gerard Pique.

There is no doubt that the Catalan giants are keen on rebuilding the club with a fresh new set of legs. Former pillars like Pique proved to be very important during this transition, with Xavi even bringing back Dani Alves for a six-month stint.

However, now that the club has secured the futures of young starlets like Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati, they are clearly focusing on youth. Apart from the young guns, they also splashed a lot of cash to sign players at the peak of their careers such as Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

This is why 35-year-old Pique is in the eye of the storm. He was an integral part of the team last year, playing even while injured on some occasions. However, Barcelona just reinforced the backline with Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde.

When asked about Pique's positing for the coming campaign, Xavi said, "Just like everyone else, everyone starts from zero, everyone will compete for a position. He who performs best will play more."

Sport caught up with the manager while the club was in the US for their pre-season tour. "The more solutions that I have as a manager, the better, we are putting together a great team, the club is making a big effort in order to be competitive and we have to show it. My objective is to return Barcelona to the top of the world," he added.

Pique has been facing a lot of heat due largely to his recent split from pop sensation Shakira. He is consistently being booed on the pitch, and it remains to be seen if he will be able to silence his critics when the season begins in just a few weeks.

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique has been at Barcelona since rejoining the club from Manchester United in 2008. Getty