Gerard Pique to MLS? He’s staying open-minded on a potential move someday


It seems like every few weeks, a European footballer is asked about playing in MLS. The usual way the interaction plays out is that the player gives a non-committal, polite response and then everyone overreacts.

Gerard Pique was the latest player to be asked about MLS and his response was more or less the same. But it’s clear that the Spaniard has been paying at least a bit of attention to MLS’ growth and he is open to the idea of going somewhere else after his career at Barcelona ends.

“I read that MLS is the league with the seventh-highest attendances, after the five big European leagues and another in sixth,” he said, according to Marca. “The fans are becoming more hooked on football all the time in the United States. I don't think I'd go to China, but the U.S., let's see.”

Indeed, MLS has been reported to be the seventh league in the world by average attendance, with a list as follows: Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Liga MX (Mexico), Serie A (Italy), Chinese Super League (China) and MLS (USA). That puts MLS above such top leagues as Ligue 1 (France), Eredivisie (Netherlands) and Primera A Division (Argentina).

It’s hard to imagine the 29-year-old making a move anytime soon though. The centerback is still playing at a high level for one of the best clubs on the planet, but he suggested he is open-minded for what happens after he leaves Barca.

“I've always said I'd like to retire at Barca, but [MLS] would be an attractive option for a few years, as long as I have the appetite to continue playing football,” he said.

It’s not the first time he has mentioned the United States as a potential destination. In a Q&A on Twitter earlier this year, he was asked if he could see himself playing in Colombia, the homeland of his partner, singer Shakira.

“We will see what happens in the future. I would like to try another league when I'm about to retire,” he reportedly said. “I don't know if it would be in America or South America, but I would like it if it was Colombia for Shaki. You never know what will happen in the future, though.”

It may not be the most likely scenario to see Pique in MLS, but he clearly isn’t ruling it out. Two of his former Barcelona teammates, Thierry Henry and David Villa, made the move to MLS, with Villa currently second in league in goals scored – he has scored 19 for New York City FC this season.