Gerard Pique is rarely one to bite his tongue and Josep Bartomeu and Unai Emery both got reminded of that this week.
First it was former Barcelona president Bartomeu that was his target following rumours that Pique is the club’s highest earner.
The centre back was infuriated by the claims, in part, because he believed it was a slight directed at him by Bartomeu.
In his rebuttal of the claim he earned €14million net (£11.7m) a season, Pique tweeted a photo of his payslip before adding that it came from someone ‘defending his friends’ – a clear indication he believed the wages leak came from the previous board and from Bartomeu.
Gerard Pique reacted angrily to claims that he is Barcelona’s top earner on over £23m a year
Pique believes that the wage leak came from former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu
The centre back later posted a picture of his wages (£1.94m) for the final six months of 2021
Bartomeu has previous for pointing the finger of blame towards the players and Pique, particularly now Bartomeu is not involved in the running of the club, is refusing to let things go.
Three days after the payslip fiasco he was on the warpath again, this time Villarreal boss Unai Emery was his target.
Emery went public with criticism of Pique as he urged the Spanish defender to ‘stop deceiving people’.
‘Instead of staying silent, you have to be honest and not deceive people,’ Emery said, after referring to a Pique handball against his Villarreal side earlier in the season.
Pique was furious at the comments and they sparked an angry response, with the World Cup winner pointing out that Emery had a history of complaining about decisions, saying he had still been discussing refereeing calls from Paris Saint-Germain’s 6-1 defeat to Barcelona three years after the match had taken place.
Pique (left) soon became embroiled in a war of words with Villarreal boss Unai Emery (right)
Pique told Emery to ‘get over it’, referencing his complaining about Paris Saint-Germain’s 6-1 loss to Barcelona three years after the match had taken place
‘This is a person who three years later was still complaining about the referee in the 6-1. Get over it, Unai.’
Both rows are nothing new for Pique and picking fights is actually something he seems to relish.
‘I know when I’m going to going to get into a fight and I do it because I fancy it,’ Pique once told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
‘I consider it part of the show. Even more so when it’s often all a lie. In the end, no one remembers what you said two days after. You can deal with the fake news and give it back.’
So, in light of the Bartomeu and Emery rows, Sportsmail looks back through the years at some of Pique’s most notable arguments…
Alex Song gets physical
Often in these rows it is on social media or, occasionally, a barrage of insults on the pitch and it is Pique’s targets that tend to come off the more scolded.
But this episode from Barcelona’s open top bus parade in 2013 as they toasted winning LaLiga appeared to see roles reversed.
In an astonishing scene, former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song and Pique, team-mates we should add, looked to be fighting while the bus made its way around Barcelona.
Pique and Song appeared to exchange words and the mood looked tense – despite it being, supposedly, a day of celebration.
Barcelona’s club captain at the time, Carles Puyol, and goalkeeper Victor Valdes stepped in to be peacemakers in the end, but the episode soon made headline news.
Alex Song (left) was seen slapping Pique (right) during an open-top bus parade back in 2013
At one point, Song is seen grabbing Pique’s arm and clenching his fist as if readying himself to throw a punch at the Spain defender.
The former Manchester United centre half then winces while holding his arms up in defence.
In another stark moment, Song is seen landing an open-handed slap on his team-mate.
Players had been partying and drinking on the bus and footage from the day showed police collecting bottles from the streets.
After playing peacemakers, Puyol and Valdes looked to be having their own tiff in the background.
Wherever Pique goes, there is drama!
Griezmann the ‘motherf****r’
Full transcript of Pique and Griezmann’s row
Pique: ‘Keep the ball, f*****g hell, for f**k sake, come on! F*****g hell, keep the ball.’
Griezmann: ‘Calm down, stop shouting, don’t shout, for f**k sake!’
Pique: ‘F*****g hell Grizi, f**k me! No! F**k off, we’re suffering, we’ve been (pinned back) for five minutes.’
Griezmann: ‘Don’t shout at me! I’m suffering as well.’
Pique: ‘F*****g hell, we’re running like crazy’
Griezmann: ‘I am running like crazy, too’
Ter Stegen: ‘Come on, come on, mark your men.’
As Kylian Mbappe tore Pique and Barcelona’s defence to pieces during a 4-1 humiliation at the Nou Camp in 2021, Pique exploded at one team-mate in particular.
Furious at what he felt was a clear lack of effort defensively, Pique launched an X-rated tirade toward Antoine Griezmann.
Pique could be heard telling his Barcelona team-mate to ‘f**k off’ as the pair became embroiled in a heated clash during their Champions League defeat.
Pitchside microphones picked up the angry exchange between Pique and Griezmann in the first half after PSG had won a corner with the score level at 1-1.
Pique was incensed with his team-mates and their failure to control possession, something Barcelona have been famed for in recent decades.
As PSG began to dominate, the pair got into a shouting match.
Pique was heard shouting: ‘Keep the ball, f*****g hell, for f**k sake, come on! F*****g hell, keep the ball.’
Griezmann, refusing to shoulder the blame for team-wide shortcomings, fired back: ‘Calm down, stop shouting, don’t shout, for f**k sake!’
Pique then turned on his team-mate some more and shouted back: ‘F*****g hell Grizi, f**k me! No! F**k off, we’re suffering, we’ve been (pinned back) for five minutes.’
Pique (right) started barking at team-mates last February in a Champions League loss to PSG
‘Don’t shout at me! I’m suffering as well,’ Griezmann continued.
At this point it was becoming obvious that the two players needed to be calmed down and separated.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was seen trying to diffuse the situation by telling both players to ‘mark their men’.
The story gathered more momentum after the match when a glum-looking Griezmann was seen at Barcelona’s El Prat airport.
Griezmann, now of Atletico Madrid, boarded a private jet and left the city, heading back to his native France.
When asked if he was leaving because of the row he shot down reporters’ questions and just asked: ‘why does it matter to you?’
Not sure the two players find themselves on the other’s Christmas card list.
Pique was furious with his team-mates as PSG started to dominate the game and clashed with Antoine Griezmann (right) in the first half after the Frenchman took exception to his outburst
Arbeloa is a ‘CONE’
Pique picking fights with his rivals over at Real Madrid is nothing new but his lengthy row with Alvaro Arbeloa certainly stood out.
Arbeloa always took the insult of being called a ‘cone’ personally – a reference to his supposed lack of mobility – particularly after eagle-eyed fans once saw his Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas liking a tweet referencing the derogatory nickname.
Ahead of the Club World Cup in 2015, Pique chose to use the word ‘conocido’, translated as ‘acquaintance’, but appeared to deliberately pause after ‘cono’ – a term referring to a traffic cone.
‘Arbeloa goes round claiming he’s a friend of mine, but he’s nothing more than an acquaintance,’ Pique said.
‘I have nothing more to say, I just said that he was not my friend but an acquaintance and people interpreted that in their own way,’ Pique said later when quizzed on his word choice.
Alvaro Arbeloa (right) was left unhappy at being labelled a ‘cone’ by Pique (left) back in 2015
‘I was very clear and have nothing more to say on the matter.’
But Arbeloa was loathe to let a former team-mate in the Spanish national team off.
‘Pique seems obsessed with us,’ Arbeloa once said of Pique, referring to Real Madrid.
‘One day, I’ll go to a comedy club and Pique will be there, talking about Real Madrid.’
Forget some sort of defenders’ union where you don’t crucify players in similar positions.
Pique likely doesn’t lose any sleep at having upset Arbeloa…
Freixa eats his words
Pique and presidential candidates never quite seem to get along and Toni Freixa found that out the hard way on social media.
Having got into a back-and-forth dispute over the situation surrounding Ousmane Dembele, who has not taken a wage reduction to ease financial concerns, days later the animosity continued.
The former presidency candidate took a cheap shot at Barcelona’s squad by tweeting about the food that is on the menu for players in Xavi Hernandez’s side.
Freixa posed the question to his followers as to whether they could imagine the following as a diet for a professional footballer: steak, chips, fried eggs, nutella pancakes and a side of beer.
Lots of players tend not to get involved in disputes on social media but not Pique.
The jibes about the players’ menu caught his eye and he soon fired back with vengeance at Freixa.
Pique took to Twitter to call out a deleted tweet from former presidency candidate Toni Freixa, who questioned the food options available to Barcelona’s players, something Pique disliked
The pair had been in a war of words days earlier online over Ousmane Dembele’s situation
‘You got the steak part wrong… it was Catalan sausage. The rest is OK,’ Pique began.
‘I’m now going to drink a gin and tonic to your health! Now you can keep deleting your tweets, you scoundrel.’
The final part of the tweet referred to the fact that Freixa later chose to delete his message about the food given the notoriety the message received – only Pique had screenshotted the original.
Freixa feigned surprise to Mundo Deportivo when asked why things were so tense between himself and Pique.
“For my part I have no problem with him, on the contrary, I have been surprised by his responses because I have always had a magnificent relationship with him and his family,’ Freixa said. ‘His grandfather Amador Bernabéu is a person that I admire very much.’
It seems the animosity may be a one-way street but Pique is certainly no fan of Freixa and Menu-gate proved as much.