​Former Manchester United defender Gerard Piqué insists that he doesn't have any regrets about joining the club at the start of his career, adding that his four-year spell at Old Trafford helped him to become the player he is today.

Piqué grew up in Barcelona's academy but left in a £4.7m to join the Old Trafford club in 2004, going on to make 23 appearances for the club - as well as 28 whilst on loan at Real Zaragoza - before returning to his boyhood club four years later.

The Spain international was a frustrated figure at United due to the lack of game time he was getting under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Piqué insists joining the club so early in his career helped him to become the player he is today.

Manchester United's Spanish defender Ger

"When I left my friends there to spend four years at Manchester United it was tough," Piqué told The Observer (via The Guardian). "At the same time that was a great experience for me.

"I grew up a lot there. I am who I am because of the period I had at Manchester United, even though I didn’t play as much as I wanted to.

"But in my position, there were two centre-backs who were among the top three in the world at the time [Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic]. But being at home, and having the career I have had at home, has been a great pleasure and I am very proud of it."

Despite leaving the club in 2008, Piqué actually played a big part of Manchester United's success in the Champions League in his last season in the north-west.

The now 32-year-old scored two goals in group stage matches against Dynamo Kyiv and AS Roma to help United finish five points clear at the top of Group F.

Piqué was involved for the club when they faced Roma once again in the quarter-final stage of the competition and he remained an unused substitute as Manchester United drew away at Barcelona in the next round.

Gerard Pique,Michael Carrick,John O'Shea

He wasn't involved in the final at the end of the season, but Piqué has gone on to feature in three finals since returning to Barcelona, including two against United and his most recent against Juventus in 2015.

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