BARCELONA

Piqué: "I don't know whether it's good or bad having been team mates with Xavi"

The Barça defender was a guest on 'El Hormiguero': "It was tough when Messi left. We had been team mates for 16 years. He is practically like a brother".

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Piqué: "I don't know whether it's good or bad having been team mates with Xavi"

Gerard Piqué was a special guest on Tuesday's El Hormiguero programme and chatted to Pablo Motos about Xavi's new project at Barça, his relationship with the coach, the Davis Cup and his other projects...

Wouldn't Xavi let you come to Madrid? "It was fine, there was no problem. We decided to rearrange this interview for another time. Now I have a couple of days free and I was in Madrid anyway".

Xavi's rules: "Xavi has his rules like every coach. He hasn't said anything about surfing or the electric bike. I don't know if it's allowed or not. But he's set out some rules which were needed and we are going to comply with all of them as we always have".

Having an old team mate as a coach: "I don't know if it's a positive thing or not that Xavi is an old team mate. It's an additional pressure but in a good way. You know you can't let him down. He knows what level you are at and what you are capable of giving".

Davis Cup: "This year we held it in three different countries. In Italy it was a huge success. In Spain we attracted 5,000 spectators for the Kazakhstan-Sweden match. It was painful to see Spain knocked out".

Tennis stars of the future: "In Spain we have [Carlos] Alcaraz. Then others like Sinner, Zverev and Thiem".

FC Andorra president: "I am a shareholder at Andorra. I am focused on my own playing careerr and I have a team who handle Andorra and the Davis Cup".

Are you envious of Madrid: "It's a lively city. People are out on the street. There are lots of things to do. It's a different vibe to Barcelona. In the last few years Barcelona has faded a bit. There are a lot of Culés in Madrid".

When did Messi tell you he was leaving Barça? "That was a very tough day. We had been team mates for 16 years. He is practically like a brother. It was tough for me personally. Things didn't start well for us this season because we have lost the best player in history. Last night he won the Ballon d'Or which proves he's the best in history".

Messi in Paris: "Changing city is always difficult. I went through the same when I moved to Mánchester, but that's just the way it is. I went on my own and he is with his family. When you leave Spain, unless you go to Latin America, you'll have to learn a new language".

Do you still fancy being Barça president one day? "Some days yes and other days now. You have got to have an enormous amount of love for the club. If one day I decide I'll do it, I'll give it everything I've got. To present your candidacy, you need to provide a bank guarantee of 150 million. At Real  Madrid, Florentino wanted to raise it so that nobody could... The next elections at Madrid could be in 20 years' time. There is a lot of personal sacrifice when things aren´'t going well and you don't earn anything - you do it out of love for the club. I have loved Barça since I was born. But being president is another thing entirely. If the balance is positive they give you back your 150 million".

Retiring from football: "I've spoken to a few ex-colleagues and when their career ends it's like being in an abyss. You've been playing professionally since 16 and all of a sudden, one day it's all over. However prepared you might be, they say you feel like there is a void in your life and it takes a long time to adapt to a new life. And on top of that, before you might have been a star but later no one recognises you".

Are you ready for life after football? "I don't know. In the last few years I have tried to prepare for a new life after I have retired and to have a different routine. You know you'll miss being out on the pitch, but you will have another job or business to keep you occupied. I don't think it will be too tough, but I am sure that I'll miss it".

Vinicius, give your marks out of ten: "This season, a nine".

What you need to be offered to join Real Madrid? "That totally impossible".

Have you got Florentino's telephone number? "Yes, unless he's changed it, I have it for a personal matter".