Barcelona star and Manchester United academy graduate Gerard Pique has spoken of the rough treatment he received at Old Trafford, claiming the Red Devils' senior stars were "assh--es" to their youth team-mates.
Pique represented United for four years after moving to the club from La Masia in 2004, and he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero it was a lot harder to be a young prospect when he was making his way in the game (via AS, h/t Sport Witness):
It used to be more difficult in my time…
They adapt very well, it’s not like before. When I was seventeen, eighteen years old and tried to make the jump to the first team at Manchester (United), it was much more difficult, senior players were assh--es.
Now you make a little joke and it seems to be a crime. I remember when Gerard Deulofeu went to the first team, and he was going to sit at a dinner, I removed the chair, he fell and I got a scolding. They did it to us everyday (laughs)!
Whatever scoldings Pique was treated to at Old Trafford appeared to work as he was brought back to the Camp Nou in 2008 and has gone on to become one of the club's most valued members.
Now 29 years of age, Pique is the one handing out playful punishments at Barcelona.