When Gerard Pique began dating Shakira, his relationship with Pep Guardiola deteriorated, and the Spanish coach’s need to ‘manage everything’ nearly forced him out of the Camp Nou.
Between 2008 and 2012, Pique and Guardiola were successful at the LaLiga giants, winning three LaLiga crowns and two Champions League medals in a period when Barcelona and Real Madrid were at the height of their games.
However, the Barcelona defender has revealed how demanding working under Guardiola can be, alleging that the coach’s rivalry with then-Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was exhausting for the players, to the point where he had issue with Pique dating pop singer Shakira at the time.
‘We reached an important point of tension with him, and with the dressing room in general. The rivalry with José Mourinho was very exhausting.
‘Pep wanted absolute control of everything that happened. I started dating Shakira and the relationship with him changed – now the relationship is perfect.
‘I had a lot of pressure. I felt that in training I had to do everything perfect. If there was a moment in which I thought about leaving Barça, it was that season (the summer of 2011).’
Pique and Shakira began dating in early 2011, right in the middle of a crucial season in which Guardiola’s Barcelona won the LaLiga title and the Champions League trophy at Wembley.
The couple met in the spring of 2010 while Shakira was filming her music video for that year’s World Cup hit, ‘Waka Waka,’ when the Colombian pop singer was filming her music video for that year’s World Cup hit, ‘Waka Waka.’
Pique was in the song video, but they didn’t get together until the following year, after Shakira’s 11-year relationship with former agent Antonio de la Rua ended.
The couple are still together and have two sons, Millan and Sasha. In 2020, Forbes named Pique and Shakira in their list of the ‘World’s Most Powerful Couples’.
Guardiola would stay on as Barcelona manager for another year after Pique and Shakira got together, before leaving the Catalans in 2012 to take a sabbatical. He appeared as Bayern Munich’s new manager in the summer of 2013.
The former Barcelona head coach, now at Manchester City, enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Mourinho over his career, with tension points rising to maximum when the Portuguese coach became Real boss in 2010.
Guardiola and Mourinho had previously worked together at Barcelona, with the former a key player at the club while the latter was a translator for head coach Sir Bobby Robson in the late 1990s.
But the pair clashed in 2011 when Real Madrid played Barcelona four times in 18 days, one of which saw Real win the Copa del Rey final 1-0.
Ahead of a press conference for a Champions League clash between the two teams, which Barcelona went on to win, Guardiola told the media: ‘In this room, Mourinho is the f***ing chief, the f***ing boss. I don’t want to compete with him in here… but this is a game of football.’
The following summer, Mourinho would go on to poke Guardiola’s late former assistant at Barcelona, Tito Villanova, in the eye when a scuffle between the Catalan and Real players broke out in that summer’s Spanish Super Cup final.
Guardiola and Mourinho also clashed when the latter was in charge of Inter Milan, while both managers have faced off in the Premier League too.