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Football: Gerard Pique eager for Barcelona to restore lustre

Published on Feb 18, 2014 6:18 AM
Barcelona's Gerard Pique arrives for a news conference at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England, on Feb 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) - Barcelona defender Gerard Pique thinks that his side's Champions League last 16 tie with Manchester City represents an opportunity to restore their reputation as one of the world's leading clubs.

Pique have not won Europe's premier club competition since 2011 and were dealt a humiliating 7-0 aggregate defeat by eventual champions Bayern Munich in last season's semi-finals.

The Catalan club have also been scarred by scandal in recent weeks, with Sandro Rosell forced to step down as president over allegations he misappropriated funds in the 57.1 million euros (S$98 million) deal that brought Neymar to the club from Santos last year.

While Pique accepts that the players are powerless to affect media focus on the club's dealings at boardroom level, he says that they can create positive headlines with their performances.

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