In a surprise development, Spain manager Luis Enrique is considering calling up Barcelona defender Gerard Pique to the national team squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar later this year, claims Gerard Romero.
Pique announced his retirement from the Spain national football team four years ago, after La Roja’s dismal run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Following that, he did play one match for the Catalonian national team in 2019, but has been inactive on the international footballing scenes ever since.
However, according to Gerard Romero, Enrique, who managed Pique at Barcelona, is now keen on coaxing the 35-year-old out of international retirement and taking him to Qatar for the World Cup later this year.
Despite his advancing years, Pique enjoyed a largely impressive campaign with Barça in 2021/22, although injury issues meant that his game-time was curtailed towards the end of the season.
Furthermore, the veteran centre-half has had some issues off the field, which has led to Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez deciding to use him in a reduced capacity from next season onwards.
Despite his situation at Camp Nou, it seems like Enrique still has great faith in the ageing centre-half, as he wants the Barcelona icon on the plane to Qatar later this year.
Whether such a move can become reality depends on a lot of factors, including Pique’s fitness levels, given that he has been struggling with a chronic adductor injury.
It also remains to be seen if the 35-year-old star is willing to come out of retirement and don La Roja colours again. It had been reported in March that Pique would consider returning for the World Cup if Enrique wanted him to.
Considering that Eric Garcia and Pau Torres have not exactly been entirely convincing for Spain, Pique’s inclusion in the World Cup squad could prove to be a great move.
However, as iterated earlier, several things would need to fall in place for the 2010 FIFA World Cup winner to make his comeback for La Roja.