Barcelona Is My Life…Pique tells Manchester United, Chelsea

MANCHESTER UNITED and  Chelsea’s hopes of signing Gerard Pique have been dealt a blow after the defender revealed he plans to stay at Barcelona.

gerard-piqueThe 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Catalan giants after struggling to force his way into Luis Enrique’s plans.

Pique has played in eight of Barcelona’s 15 games this season and has not been involved since the 3-1 El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

A return to United, where he was between 2004-08, had been mooted as well as a move to Chelsea where he would link up with Spain team-mates Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta.

But in an interview with Movistar TV, Pique has reaffirmed his commitment to Barcelona.

“I think not to play two or three matches (and then leave) would not be consistent,” he said.

“Barcelona is my life and I do not plan to leave. I will continue to fight for a place.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi would be even more devastating in the Premier League, according to team-mate Xavi.

The 34-year-old believes the more attacking nature of England’s top league would perfectly suit the Argentine magician.

Messi has scored 287 goals for the Catalan giants, winning six La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and three Champions League in addition to four Ballon d’Or trophies.

The question as to whether Messi could do the business on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke has often been levied against him.

But Xavi believes he could be even more successful at one of the three Premier League clubs that could realistically afford him – Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

“I think he’d be even better in the Premier League because it is not so defensive,” the Spanish maestro said.

u San Marino secured their first point in European Championship qualifying history as they drew with Estonia.

The result ended a 61-game losing run on a notable night for Europe’s football minnows as Liechtenstein edged to a 1-0 victory in Moldova.

Former Darlington midfielder Franz Burgmeier scored for Liechtenstein. Three of Europe’s bottom five countries in the FIFA world rankings have now picked up points this week, with Faroe Islands stunning Greece on Friday. — Dailystar

Andorra and new boys Gibraltar are the only teams never to have won a European qualifying point.

San Marino, who lost 5-0 to England at Wembley in October, played their first official game in 1990 and have never won a competitive fixture.

Ranked 208th and joint-last alongside Bhutan in the FIFA world rankings, their sole victory was a 1-0 friendly defeat of Liechtenstein in 2004.

Liechtenstein’s win, meanwhile, was their first in a competitive match since June 2011 and their first in an away qualifying match for more than a decade.

On Friday, Joan Edmundsson’s goal gave Faroe Islands, ranked 187th in the world, a shock win over Greece.-BBC

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