Pique: Van Gaal ‘destroyed’ me at Barcelona

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Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has revealed that former boss Louis van Gaal “threw him to the floor” for not being “strong enough”.

Pique, who this week revealed he will retire from international football in 2018, claims that Van Gaal told him that he wouldn’t be able to make the Barca first team as he “wasn’t strong enough”.

“You never knew if he would be the first-team coach when you got there. He pushed me, he threw me to the floor. He told me I wasn’t strong enough to be a Barcelona player,” Pique told TV3.

“He destroyed me. At Barcelona we didn’t do gym work until the age of 18. That was really hard.”

Despite what Van Gaal may have said, Pique has gone on to make 365 appearances for the Catalans, contributing 35 goals in the process.

Pique has clocked up six La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey cups and three Champions League trophies since rejoining from Manchester United in 2008.