FC BARCELONA

Barcelona: Gerard Piqué rides into Camp Nou on a 10,000-euro electric bike

The Barcelona centre-back surprised everyone by turning up for Wednesday's crucial derby meeting with Espanyol racing to the ground at full speed.

The Catalan derby is a date that is always marked in red in Gerard Piqué's diary but nobody expected the Barcelona centre-back to turn up for last night's crucial clash with Espanyol on an electric bike. The player raced into the players' car park at Camp Nou at full speed, riding a bike that he was first spotted with a couple of years ago at the training ground - a high-end electric bike valued at 10,000 euros.

Piqué's e-bike is a Greyp, made by Rimac, in Spain, several players have bikes just like his - including Lionel Messi and Cesc Fàbregas. All of them have the same model, a Greyp G12S, a bike which requires owners to be in possession of a drivers' license as its 16 CV engine allows the rider to reach speeds of 70 kilometres per hour. Of course, there's no need to pedal if you don't feel like it, the e-bike is powered by 12 kW battery to save you the effort.

The G12S has other features such as a digital fingerprint sensor which prevents it from being used if it is stolen and a battery life of 80 minutes - enough for a 130 km journey.

Rimac is a company set up by Croatian inovator Mate Rimac, who developed an all-electric BMW when he was still just a teenager. FC Barcelona players are huge fans of his e-bikes - all of them have photographs of themselves and their children with their bikes, personalised in blue and claret - or in Messi's case, Argentina's colours. Piqué has another model which is painted black.

However, some observers on social media were not happy that Piqué arrived at Camp Nou without a face mask, which from today is compulsory in Catalunya, or a helmet...