Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has revealed the reasons behind his 2008 Manchester United exit.

The 26-year-old joined the Red Devils in 2004, as he wanted to challenge himself away from his hometown of Barcelona.

However Pique made just 12 league appearances for Manchester United as his route to the first team was blocked by the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown.

Pique was consequently loaned out to Real Zaragoza for the duration of the 2006/07 season as he was desperate to play regular first team football.

After impressing back in La Liga, Pique returned to Old Trafford in hope that he would worm his way into Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up.

However he continued to be overlooked and was only afforded a handful of appearances in Manchester United's double-winning 2007/08 season, which prompted Barcelona into making a move to re-sign the centre-back.

Pique has since gone onto become one of the best centre-backs in Europe, winning 16 trophies at the Catalan giants since his return to the Camp Nou.

And Pique, speaking to Mundo Deportivo, said on why he turned his back on Manchester United: "I spent four years away, but here I have family and close friends every day.

"Everything is very well with the club. Everyone knows that I am a Barcelonista. I tried having an adventure abroad with Manchester, and I can say that there is no place like home."

Topics:
Football
Manchester United
Barcelona
Gerard Pique
La Liga