Gerard Pique made his name as a defender who is not only able to protect his keeper but who is also able to go forward with the ball. Passing is a very strong part of his game, and there aren’t many defenders better at it than the Catalan.
Only a few years ago the now 26-year-old was creating headaches for players like Cristiano Ronaldo as he used his pace and strength to keep attackers off the ball and make sure that chances weren’t created.
The pace is still there for Pique, but his ability to defend the ball has somewhat dropped. He is still a very strong defender and one who knows how to tackle, but he is much easier to beat one-on-one than he used to be.
Above anything else, Pique’s ability to read the game stands out.
The Catalan makes most of his defensive actions by intercepting the ball and knowing when to step up to cut off passing lanes. He reads the game very well for a defender and understands how opponents like to attack.
However, over the last year some weaknesses have begun to creep into his game.
Despite his tall frame Pique is surprisingly weak in the air and can be beaten by headers. He struggles to mark defenders when the ball is played into the box and has paid for it several times.
But perhaps his most worrisome weakness is his focus. At times Pique seems to forget what is happening and is either caught out of position or makes a costly mistake.
When he is at the top of his game Gerard Pique is one of the best defenders around. Sadly for Barcelona, the Catalan defender has rarely been at his best recently.