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.

Piqué’s relationship with pop star Shakira worried Barcelona FC chiefs so much that they had him followed by a detective agency. File Pic/Getty images

According to reports, Metodo 3 trailed Pique in 2010 to see how much time he was spending partying. “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.