Gerard Pique gets around, and I don't just mean with the lucky ladies in Europe but with the top footballing clubs too. Here's the lowdown on the players from Barcelona and Manchester United via the guy who has mingled in both dressing rooms. He talks about himself too and is completely spot on ;)
Bojan: A kid in the dressing room but I am trying to make him become a man!
Valdes: Doesn’t moan when I am DJ in the dressing room. He also plays the piano.
Eto'o: He is fanatical about cars and watches.
Messi: Not superstitious, but always wears his Argentina flag shinpads.
Rio: Always looking to play pranks on people and spends hours and hours in the gym
Anderson: He was a regular at my home because of the lack of food at his
Ronaldo: Finds it difficult to resist mirrors, cars and fashion
Evra: Big friends with Park and Carlos Tevez.
He’s unbelievable when one-on-one with a player. The fact he’s not in Spain’s team is strange because he is one of the best five goalkeepers in the world. I like him because he doesn’t moan when I am DJ in the dressing room. He also plays the piano.
Despite playing centre-back, I think he is best at right-back. He is like a barnacle or limpet that you find on rocks on the beach. You have to keep scratching away but still get little out of it! He is the captain, a good friend but an animal who is relentless on the pitch. If I was playing chess, he would be my rook. A tower of strength.
What can I say? Scandalously good-looking (see my picture, below right). Talented on and off the pitch. There’s nothing better than me, but maybe I could do with a little more confidence!
The daddy of the team. A real good guy. He is always concerned for the welfare of the side and asks questions all the time when we are travelling, making sure we are OK. Not played enough in key games but very reliable.
Best example of how good Barcelona’s academy can be. He loves the ball more than anything else in the world. It is almost impossible to take the ball off him in training and if anyone does you normally get an ovation from the rest of the team.
He is the rookie of the season. He was a striker last year and Pep changed him into a defensive midfielder. We call him Superman. You can kick him as much as you like but he won’t feel it. He will be a reference point in world football in a few years’ time.
Best midfielder in the world. You can study his hips as he is moving towards you but he will bluff you with his body. If Andres scored more goals he would be the biggest act in the world. Bigger than any singer! As a person, soft as a loaf of bread.
No 1 in the world. You can’t fight against him, you will lose because he is quicker and more athletic than you. Not superstitious, but always wears his Argentina flag shinpads. I grew up with him here at Barcelona and he hasn’t disappointed me.
We asked the coach and the chairman at the start of the season to make sure that we kept him. He had to stay, there’s no other striker like him. He was having a bad time but proved to everyone that he is a top professional. He is fanatical about cars and watches.
He looks very cocky, but on a daily basis he has shown strong humility — despite being the best footballer in Arsenal’s history. He kisses a tattoo on his wrist every time he scores and I have told him he is in danger of wearing out his skin, he has scored so many.
He always leaves everyone open-mouthed with his show of strength. Quiet in the dressing room but very friendly and never complains. He doesn’t care whether he plays defensive midfield or centre-back, and we all feel comfortable whichever position he plays. Has some unusual dance moves, though.
The lungs of the team. He can run from deep and score, he is good in the air and cares a lot defensively. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘no’. He says ‘yes’ to requests from the gaffer and ends up paying five times for it.
The Viking or The Gargoyle. He has a special humour for the dressing room. He is always funny and cheery. Unbelievable first touch and is probably the best in the team with his back to goal. Speaks very good English and likes a party.
It doesn’t matter how many minutes he plays, because he always gets a chance. Don’t give him half a metre because he will take you to the cleaners. His body is like a snake, he can change direction quickly and can slip past easily. He is a kid in the dressing room but I am trying to make him become a man!
EDWIN VAN DER SAR
I prefer to call him Ed. Very intelligent guy, speaks several languages. He’s one of the best professionals in the team by a mile. He’s so tall and he’s capable of extending his arms to unimaginable places. His weakness, and it’s not a big one, is when he plays the ball with his feet. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and a fantastic neighbour.
Sheazy is perhaps not the flashiest player in the team but mentally he’s very strong. His versatility makes him an important piece in the jigsaw and this season he has been one of their most consistent performers. O’Shea has got one of the most contagious laughs I’ve ever heard. Really nice guy.
He’s the king of the defensive line. If you go in for a 50-50 challenge with him you’ll lose. I guarantee it. He’s solid and classy, I’ve learned a lot from him. His sense of humour is something else, he’s always looking to play pranks on people, as his TV show proved. He also likes to spend hours and hours in the gym.
I can’t find a weakness in his game. His rating is always 9 out of 10. He is a rarity. Although he seems the perfect partner for Rio, I’m not sure they are a perfect combination because there are similarities in their games. Sometimes you need more contrasting styles for a perfect partnership. But Vida is quiet and very reserved until he gets on the pitch.
Another joker and a good friend. Pat is a typical sportsman. You have to tell him to stop running. He’s a constant worker and intense marker but if Messi has his day, Pat might have big problems. Big friends with Park and Carlos Tevez.
He’s attended the Patrice Evra school of running and working hard as well. You have to put a train in front of him in order to stop him. He’s one of those quiet players who are more influential in the game than people realise.
More British than the Union Jack. Michael is a very spontaneous and nice guy. He’s crucial for United’s game because the team plays with the pace he’s dictating. He’s matured a lot under Ferguson. We have to be careful with his long-distance shooting.
One of the favourites for Old Trafford fans and I can understand why. He does a hell of a job in midfield and it’s a job not many players like to do. He has a sixth sense about assisting strikers. But he should keep more food in his apartment. He was a regular at mine because of the lack of food at his.
Wazza is a genius. I’ve never seen such a powerful footballer. He’s definitely one of the best players on the planet. But he is still very unselfish. He can’t go on the pitch without proper bandages for his ankles or without kissing the cross around his neck. Wayne likes to pull your shorts down as you get served in the canteen. Embarrassing!
Everyone talks about him being a big head but he’s not. He’s a very nice person and always joking with the boys. He finds it difficult to resist mirrors, cars and fashion but he’s a great bloke. One of the two best players on the planet (with Messi).
He has a glove on his left foot, something unbelievable. He acts as a middleman for Ferguson to help communication between the team and management. Giggs is synonymous with danger and intelligence. Doesn’t like to speak much before games but when he does everybody listens and pays attention.
With Carlitos you need to watch out because if you look away he will be biting your leg! He’s the ultimate fighter and a great talent. He should get more game time than he does. We used to spend a lot of time together because he couldn’t manage with his English — I hope he can now.
I can’t say too much about him as I haven’t shared a dressing room with him. But everyone knows he’s a very skilful player and smart, but sometimes he’s too casual on the ball. I’m told the lads like to call him Dracula because of his dark looks and accent.
He’s something else. Different class. I would like to see him playing for the next 20 years. He knows how to anticipate against any rival. He maximises his moves and never gets tired despite his age. Very humble person, big family man and a real leader.
From: The Daily Mail