Gerard Pique is no stranger to a headline and during his Twitch conversation with Ibai Llanos, even admitted to enjoying being in them. “It’s fun” to see yourself in the papers, the now retired Barcelona defender said.
The 35-year-old spoke on a range of topics in a lengthy interview that lasted around 90 minutes, including Florentino Perez’s role in the Superleague and his sending off against Osasuna, which he believed was trumped up by the referee.
He did say he agreed with Perez on some of his points about the Superleague, before destroying him, admitting that football had to change.
“You have to try to modify rules that have been established for many years and change them. I understand that it is difficult. It happens in all sports. You have to find a way to attract attention. I see that there is a lot of content on offer, not just sports. You have a few hours and you want to spend them getting as much information as possible. You have to create short and exciting products. Ninety minutes seems like a lot to me. Let’s look for rules that are more entertaining. My feeling is that the product of football is outdated.”
Pique referenced the fact that his son Milan loved football, but would rarely spend 90 minutes watching the game itself, rather using social media at the same time.
“It is much more difficult to attract the young public. We have to think about it. I would make very radical changes, but people would not have it.”
He applauded those who were willing to change the rules, even if it didn’t work. Pressed for a suggestion by Llanos, Pique had an idea for extra time.
“Eleven against eleven, an extension of 30 minutes. Say that every three minutes a player from each team comes out, until there is a goal. Penalties are a buzz for me. Deciding a semi-final of a World Cup with penalties… It’s about creating that buzz. I understand that there are people who say, how am I going to shoot here and risk the future of the country, but I love it.”
Whether people are open to Pique’s suggestions or not, it appears that he is part of a growing campaign amongst football’s elite that want reform.