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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 3, 2008

Pique plans longer spell back at Barcelona

Returning Barcelona defender Gerard Pique claims he wants to see out the rest of his career with the Catalan giants.

The 21-year-old rejoined Barca at the end of May after agreeing a four-year deal with the club he left in 2004 at the age of 17 to join Manchester United.

Pique was officially presented today and the youngster could not hide his delight at making the move back to the Nou Camp.

'I am thankful to be able to return home,' said Pique. 'It is a dream to return home. When I was 17 I took the decision to leave because when you are younger your first dream is to play football and the other to play for Barca.

'Today it has happened, I am proud and very happy. I would love to retire here.'

Pique returns to Barca with a Premier League and a Champions League medal in his pocket, and he insists he has nothing to regret about his spell in England.

'I don't regret anything at all,' he added. 'I learnt a lot in Manchester and all I have are compliments, as much for the club as for (coach) Alex Ferguson.

'It was like a second home to me. I went to try my luck, not to show Barca that I was a valuable player and at the end, things worked out and I'm very grateful to return.'

Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain expressed his gratitude to United for allowing Pique's return, revealing that they had had better offers for the Spaniard.

'Manchester United knew they couldn't negotiate over the fee with us,' he said. 'I would like to thank United for having listened to the player and for having understood they couldn't negotiate with us.

'I would also like to thank the player, for having shown his desire to return.

'Not all the players who leave Barca can return, but we support those from our youth teams.'

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