You are currently viewing ‘It hurts not having fans on our side’ – Pique frustrated with whistling as he backs Barca to win Europa League

‘It hurts not having fans on our side’ – Pique frustrated with whistling as he backs Barca to win Europa League

Gerard Pique has adimitted that he and his Barcelona team-mates have been ‘hurt’ by whistling from the stands amid their lacklustre campaign – and has vowed that the club will win the Europa League to prove their naysayers wrong.

Xavi’s Blaugrana side earned a 1-1 draw against Napoli in their knockout round play-off first leg clash at Camp Nou on Thursday, as Ferran Torres’ penalty proved enough to ensure a stalemate heading into next week’s second leg in Naples.

It has been a trying campaign so far for the Catalan giants, with a sustained campaign of whistles against wantaway France international Ousmane Dembele the latest straw to compound issues – and now veteran defender Pique has acknowledged that it hurts for supporters to not back them to the hilt.

What has been said?

“The fans are free to express themselves as they wish, but while we’re playing, the whistles are no good,” the 35-year-old told Movistar.

“I understand that supporters are annoyed, but we’d like them to express that after the game.

“It’s important not to have whistles during the match because it’s distracting. It hurts not having the fans on side.”

Veteran backs club to nab silverware

While Koeman – aided by a superb Lionel Messi in his final campaign at the club – tasted Copa del Rey success last term – Barcelona’s only credible route to silverware this season looks to be Europe’s second-tier club competition.

But Pique sees no reason why the Blaugrana cannot salvage success from their 2021-22 campaign, adding: “I’m convinced we can win it. By playing like this we can win the Europa League.

“If we generate the same chances in the second leg, they will go in and we will go through. We want to win [the trophy].”

The bigger picture

Barcelona’s hopes of silverware may rest on the Europa League, but a failure to win that could well leave them out of the running for the Champions League next season too.

The Blaugrana will need a top-four finish in La Liga to ensure a spot at the high table next term, leaving them walking a tightrope in domestic competition.

They currently lie fourth, level on points with Atletico Madrid and with a game in hand.

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