Gerard Pique has backed former teammate Rafael Marquez to be a future Barcelona manager after impressing as head coach of the club’s B team since last season.
Pique played alongside Marquez for two seasons at Camp Nou from 2008 until 2010. The Mexican legend then continued his career with spells in the United States, Italy and his homeland, before hanging up his boots aged 39 in 2018 and embarking on a coaching career.
Now 44, Marquez landed the Barca Atletic job in 2022 following time spent as a youth coach at regional Madrid club Alcala. Barca have a habit of promoting from within – such as Pep Guardiola progressing from the B team to first-team coach in 2008 – or bringing individuals back to the club as has been the case with Luis Enrique in the past and current boss Xavi.
Marquez has also already done a good job of preparing B team players for senior football, with Xavi calling on several of them in recent weeks to plug first-team gaps amid injuries and suspensions.
“Yes, for sure,” was Pique’s response when asked by ESPN if he saw Marquez as a future Barca boss.
“Rafa is more than ready for a range of things [such as coaching Barcelona] because of the attitude he has, his knowledge of the game and his experience.
“He’s in a learning process as a coach right now and I am sure that in the future we will see him on a bench in La Liga. We will see if that is with Barca or another team, but he’s preparing excellently.”
Having retired from playing fairly suddenly last November, Pique has focused his attention since on business interests – notably the Kings League. He has also owned FC Andorra since 2018, with the club now in Spain’s second tier, finishing seventh in the table last season.
But Pique himself has also widely been tipped to return to Barca one day, not necessarily in a coaching capacity, but as an executive or even president. The 36-year-old confirmed his interest in running the club at some point in the future when he hung up his boots, while La Liga chief Javier Tebas has predicted that Pique would make a “great” president.
READ THE LATEST BARCELONA NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP