Gerard Piqué was speaking in an interview in ‘Extra Time’, a supplement of the Italian sports newspaper ‘Gazzetta dello Sport‘, in which he confesses that the club was “a slave to Guardiola’s tiki-taka system“.
To those not familiar with the term “tiki taka”, it was coined by the late Spanish football presenter Andrés Montes alluding to the way Barca played their familiar one-touch football. Montes made the phrase famous on TV during his animated commentaries for the 2006 World Cup, although the term had been used before in Spanish football.
The centre back says that with the arrival of Tata Martino, it has been a liberation as the Argentine has imposed a different style to that which was implanted by Pep Guardiola and which Tito Vilanova continued up until last season.
For Piqué, this style of play brought much success for Barcelona, but eventually lost its effectiveness with the team not feeling at liberty to look for tactical alternatives.
“If a team is pressuring us, clearing with a couple of long balls is not a bad thing, it changes the game and gives us a breather,” he said.