Barcelona’s Gerard Pique announces retirement

Barcelona, Nov 3 (EFE).- FC Barcelona defender and former Spain international Gerard Pique posted a video Thursday announcing his retirement from soccer.

“Saturday will be my last game at Camp Nou,” he said, referring to the team’s upcoming LaLiga tie against Almeria. “I will become just another culer (Barcelona supporter), I will transmit my love of the team to my children just as my family did with me.”

The Barcelona native’s grandfather was on the club’s board of directors and Gerard entered the team’s academy at the age of 10.

Though he spent the first four years of his senior career as a Manchester United player, Pique returned to the Blaugrana in 2008 and signaled several years ago that intended to remain with the side until he retired.

“I have always said that after Barcelona there will be no other team and that is how it will be,” he said on the video.

In his 14 seasons with Barcelona, Pique won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies and hoisted the Copa del Rey seven times.

As a member of the Spanish national team for nine years, he won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.

It has been clear since the start of the 2022-2023 season that Pique, 35, does not figure in Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez’s long-term plans and he has played in only nine matches.

One of his rare starts was in the 3-3 Champions League draw with Inter Milan that effectively ended Barcelona’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.

He thrived during the 2008-2012 tenure of coach Pep Guardiola, which saw Barcelona win the triple in 2009. With the defender’s retirement, Sergio Busquets will become the only member of that memorable squad who remains with the club.

In 2020, following an embarrassing defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, Pique expressed a willingness to cede his place on the roster for the sake of improving the side.

“The team need changes,” he said then. “Nobody is indispensable. I am the first to offer to leave if new blood arrives to change this dynamic.”

Pique has cultivated other interests in recent years. His sports-business venture, Kosmos, has successfully overhauled the Davis Cup tennis tournament and he owns second-division football club Andorra.

But he has never made a secret of his ambition to one day lead Barcelona as club president. EFE


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