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For Pique, there is always the next season to look forward to


The past season may not have been good for Gerard Pique.

But there is only one way out to forget all the bad things that came along the way.

For the Barcelona centre-back, to move on is the right path to recovery.

He has been ruled out of Barca’s final La Liga match of the season against Eibar after being downed by a bum stomach.

Pique last featured for Luis Enrique’s men in the 4-1 win over Villarreal and was on the bench when Las Palmas were beaten by the same scoreline last time out.

But the squad came out with an announcement that Pique continues to recover and readapt to training following his abdominal pains that have kept him out for 10 days.

Recently, the illness forced the defender into a brief stay at hospital last week, although he was soon released to resume treatment at home.

As Pique hit the road to recovery, he welcomed the assumption of Ernesto Valverde as new Barca manager.

Gerard has nothing but praises for the former Athletic Club boss who replaced Luis Enrique.

“He could be a great option at Barcelona,’’ said the 30-year-old Pique, who is also one of the pillars of the Spanish national team.

Among his greatest contributions to La Roja were playing a key role in their 2010 World Cup success and 2012 Euro victory.

Pique is admired for being a modern defender who has the strength with good technique and passing. He can also play the defensive midfielder and sweeper positions.

His 6-foot-4 frame makes him a danger on air and it enables him to add dimension to his attacks.

Pique, who re-signed with Barca in 2008 after a stint with Manchester United, has earned the nickname “Piquenbauer’’ due to the similarity of his playing style to German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

Although Barca failed to win the La Liga title this season and were ousted in the Champions League, Pique still cherishes their victory in the Copa del Rey.

“Winning the cup is no failure,’’ added the defensive rock, pointing out that the past season was not a flop for the club.

This may not be the season Gerard and his Barca teammates have dreamed of but the line of hope on the horizon remains for him and the team.

There were even rumours linking Pique to a move to LA Galaxy or New York City in the United States Major League Soccer next year. But the talks are not distracting him.

In fact, there is no reason for Pique to frown.

With a loving wife, Colombian singer Shakira of “Waka Waka’’ fame, and their two kids, Milan and Sasha, always on hand to support him, getting back into peak form next season will be handy.