Barcelona spied on Gerard Pique's affair with Shakira to ensure performance on pitch
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Barcelona ordered the Spanish detective agency, Metodo 3, to spy on its star defender Gerard Pique after they became concerned about his relationship with the pop star Shakira, according to reports.
Senior figures at the club were reportedly worried that Pique's predilection for partying and his romance with the Colombian singer would damage his performance on the pitch, the Independent reports.
According to reports from the Spanish news website El Confidencial, Metodo 3 trailed Pique in 2010 to see how much time he was spending partying. Detectives were said to have logged the number of drinks he consumed and the time he arrived home in September that year after he went to a pop concert, the paper reports.
The club, which lost to arch-rivals Real Madrid on Tuesday, allegedly managed to persuade Pique that it was the Spanish tabloid press spying on him when he realised he was being followed, the paper said.
"The Metodo 3 detective agency spied on FC Barcelona players under orders from the then director of security and now director-general of penitentiary services for the Generalitat [the autonomous government of Catalonia], Xavier Martorell," Spanish website El Confidencial wrote on Tuesday.
It claimed Martorell willingly helped keep the club's former manager Pep Guardiola informed. It was the first time the agency had been named as spying on players for FC Barcelona, despite rumours it had done so in previous years with stars including Samuel Eto''o and Ronaldinho, the paper added.