BARCELONA defender Gerard Pique has hit back at claims he is currently earning £450,000 per week by posting a bank statement on social media.
The 34-year-old centre-back was one of three players whose wages were alleged by Spanish TV3 programme Onze – with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also reported to be on huge salaries.
But Pique has shut down those claims with a screenshot showing half his pay for 2021 – £2million.
This means that for the year of 2021 he was paid £4m, a sum which works out as roughly £75,000 per week.
Along with the screenshot of the payroll statement, he also added a pointed comment to those who attempted to reveal his wages.
He told his Twitter followers: "Characters like this charging for public television to defend their friends.
"Here are 50% of my payroll earned on December 30th. Respect yourself a little."
Pique's comments come after a statement from Barcelona regarding the reports of their players' wages.
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Speaking on Friday, the LaLiga side said: "In relation to the manifestations of Mr. Lluís Canut carried out yesterday in the program 'Onze' of TV3, FC Barcelona wants to clarify the following:
"1. The information on the salaries of certain first team players has not, in any case, been provided by the Club and its origin is unknown.
"2. In any case, the amounts referred to in the information are erroneous, do not conform to reality and, furthermore, in the case of the first three players referred to, it gives as fixed amounts that, being variable, will possibly never be reached. to merit.
"3. It is false that the aforementioned players have only deferred 100% of their salary. Messrs. Piqué, Busquets and Alba gave up part of their salary when they signed the last contract renewal last summer.
"We consider it inappropriate, unprofessional and that it has acted in bad faith when this information is offered as true and truthful and we regret that data of this type is provided that affects the personal rights of the players and that deserves, when they are true, the highest confidentiality."
A number of Barca's most high-profile players have been forced to take pay cuts due to the club's current financial crisis.
And Lionel Messi was forced to leave the Nou Camp for free after a new contract could not be agreed.
They have still been able to sign Man City forward Ferran Torres at the start of the January transfer window, but they cannot register him until players are sold or the wage bill is reduced.
As well as their off-field problems, Barca are also seriously struggling on the pitch.
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The club opted to change managers earlier this season when Ronald Koeman was replaced by legendary midfielder Xavi.
But since then they have continued to falter – most notably in the Champions League where they were eliminated in the group stages for the first time in 20 years.
In the LaLiga standings they sit fifth, 15 points off table toppers Real Madrid.
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