Piqué looking to his future at Old Trafford
Defender Gerard Pique is confident his patience will eventually be rewarded at Manchester United.
The 20-year-old was loaned out to Real Zaragoza last season and could easily have joined them on a permanent basis had Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson not rebuffed a substantial bid.
Pique, also linked with Atletico Madrid just this week, enhanced his reputation with a first start - and only his second appearance - in the Champions League on Wednesday, and scored his maiden United goal in the 4-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev. "You never know what can happen in life, but right now my future is with Manchester United.""I have a lot of pride when a club such as Atletico is interested in me, that means I am doing something good. "Atletico have demonstrated that they belong in the top group of teams and they would be a good option for any player. "If things do not work out for then I will look at my future at Old Trafford - but I am only thinking about working hard and improving every day."
Despite growing interest in the Barcelona academy product, Ferguson has stressed he wants to hang on to the centre-back. Pique himself is only too happy to stay at Old Trafford, looking on the loan spell in his homeland last season as just part of his learning curve. 'When I went on loan last year what I wanted was experience. It was good for me, and now I am am getting experience here - and I am happy,' said the Spain Under-21s international.
'You have to think `it is Manchester United and they are one of the best teams in the world'.
'The players that are here have a lot of quality, and it is very difficult to break through. You have to be patient.'I want to play more games, but the boss decides.'
Pique was relatively untroubled alongside Nemanja Vidic in a back four which also contained fellow 20-year-old Danny Simpson, also making his first Champions League start, and the established Patrice Evra.
Playing with those experienced internationals undoubtedly helped the rookies settle in.
'They are great players, and when you play with them they give you the confidence to play your game,' said Pique. 'You know if you make a mistake you have them around you. 'It was a great feeling to score a goal in the first (Champions League) game you start and you help the team to win the game.'We are now already qualified, and that is great for us. The last two games we can enjoy it - and try to be the first in the group.'
"Sometimes it is difficult to be out of the side, but you have to get over your anxiety. With Vidic and Ferdinand it can be hard to play, but you have to get the minutes in when you can and in addition to show your versatility is important."
Ferguson is like a 'father figure' to young players like Piqué . "He has called on me to take the experience and continue improving.""Sir Alex has always treated me like a son and he demonstrated in the summer when Zaragoza pushed hard for me that he wants me in his side.