Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has revealed that he learned the value of self belief during his spell at Manchester United.
The 26-year-old joined the Red Devils in 2004 after growing up in Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, before rejoining the Catalan giants in 2008.
However, Pique said that his time in England helped him become a man.
“The time when I left Barca to join United taught me a great deal about the value of self belief," the Spain international told The Sun. “I had always been confident, but this period taught me that you need more to succeed.
“You have to fiercely chase your goals and be prepared to make difficult decisions and deal with setbacks.”
Pique said that he felt he needed to prove himself "in a place when the language, culture and environment were all completely alien to me."
He continued: “Gradually, I started to understand and appreciate English culture, from the subtleties of the humour, to the music, landscape and architecture.
“The weather however was something that I couldn’t get used to. That, and maybe the food.
“This period enabled me to make more great friends and continue to progress my career but more than anything the United move made me mature.”
Pique looks back on his time at United with great fondness, despite failing to cement his place in the club's first team.
“I had the privilege of being managed by one of the greatest, Sir Alex Ferguson, and also to play alongside some of the best players in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, just to mention a few," the Spaniard added.
“The experience instilled me with a fierce determination to succeed that I learned from the British players around me.
“This is something that still lives inside me today.”
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