Pique: Van Gaal pushed me and threw me to the floor… he destroyed me!

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The defender has opened up about how he struggled to cope under the Dutchman’s stewardship, revealing he was told he was not “strong enough” to play for Barcelona.

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Gerard Pique has revealed Louis van Gaal once told him he was not “strong enough” to play for Barcelona.

Pique was emerging through the Blaugrana’s youth ranks when he claims that then-first-team boss Van Gaal pushed him to the floor and insisted he would not make the grade at the club.

Speaking to TV3 , Pique said: “You never knew if he would be the first-team coach when you got there. He pushed me, he threw me to the floor. He told me I wasn’t strong enough to be a Barcelona player.

“He destroyed me. At Barcelona we didn’t do gym work until the age of 18. That was really hard.”

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Pique has since gone on to prove Van Gaal’s assessment wrong, enjoying a trophy-laden spell with the Catalan giants.

The 29-year-old has made over 300 appearances in all competitions for the club and helped them win several honours including six Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.

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