Gerard Pique says he felt like an "idiot" for coming out in defence of former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu following the Barcagate scandal.

The Blaugrana stalwart was one of several players who were found to have been the targets of reported smear campaigns orchestrated by the ex-Camp Nou supremo during his time as president.

Bartomeu, whose tenure saw success in La Liga and the Champions League, left the club in financial difficulties when he resigned in October 2020.

Speaking to YouTube personality Jordi Wild, Pique launched a scathing critique of Bartomeu, accusing him of poor management skills and a lack of commitment to the club.

"He's a person who doesn't know how to say no or deal with problems," the centre-back stated. "In recent times, we never saw him around the sporting complex.

"I got angry with him because he lied to my face with Barcagate. The club contracted some services to criticise players and [he] told [Lionel] Messi and me that he didn't know anything.

"Then I found out that he did know. That he lied to me about such a serious incident... and I came out like an idiot to defend him."

Pique also admitted he is less consumed by his love for football now as he approaches the twilight of his career.

Since joining Barcelona in 2008 from Manchester United, the defender has gone on to win every major honour available for club and country.

"As a sport, I liked it more when I was little than now," he added. "Before, I lived it with more passion.

"Now you have a lot on offer and football competes against many things."