Gerard Pique has used his most recent payslip to disprove claims he is Barcelona's highest paid player by revealing he earned almost £2million in the last six months.
Spanish television presenter Lluis Canut recently claimed on TV3 that Pique was the club's highest earner, with an annual salary of £11.7million after tax.
Canut stated that Pique's pre-tax earnings of £23.4million topped those of fellow high earners Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who he claims earn £19.2million and £16.7million respectively.
However, the World Cup-winning defender has hit back at these claims by revealing he was paid just under £2million for the final six months of 2021.
Pique tweeted a screenshot of a bank statement that shows he was paid £1.94million by the club in December, a payment of half his annual salary.
He also wrote: “People like this are paid by public television to defend their friends. Here is 50% of my salary as of 30 December. Have a bit of respect for yourself.”
It is not possible to verify the payslip.
But Pique is understood to be one of a number of Barcelona players who took pay cuts in the summer to help ease the strain of the club's financial woes.
The pay cuts allowed the Spanish giants to register their new summer signings, which included Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay.
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Barcelona themselves have also refuted Canut's claims in a club statement which reads: “In relation to comments made by Lluis Canut on TV3, Barcelona would like to clarify the following.
“1. The information on the salaries of certain first team players has not, in any case, been supplied by the club and its origin is unknown.
“2. In any case, the amounts referred to in the information are erroneous and do not conform to reality. Furthermore, in the case of the first three players referred to [Pique, Busquets and Alba], it gives fixed amounts which, as the sums involved are based on variables, will possibly never be reached.
“3. It is also false that the aforementioned players have only deferred their salary. Pique, Busquets and Alba gave up part of their salary when they signed contract renewals last summer.
“We consider it inappropriate, unprofessional and that [Canut] has acted in bad faith by offering this information as truthful.
“We regret that data of this type is provided because it infringes the personal rights of the players and deserves, when the information is true, confidentiality.”
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