Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué has introduced his retirement from soccer, saying Saturday’s recreation towards Almería shall be his final.
In a heartfelt video posted on his social media on Thursday, the 35-year-old Piqué stated “it’s the second to finish this stage of my life” after a legendary profession at each membership and worldwide stage.
“Soccer has given me every little thing,” he added. “Barcelona has given me every little thing. You, culers (Barcelona followers), have given me every little thing.
“And now that (this) child’s desires have come true, I need to inform you that I’ve determined that now could be the time to convey this journey to its finish.”
Piqué retires a Barcelona nice, having loved a trophy-laden 14 years on the membership since coming back from Manchester United in 2008.
He got here by Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy earlier than signing for Manchester United and its legendary coach Alex Ferguson, the place he gained the Premier League and the Champions League.
Piqué returned to Barca in 2008, the place he blossomed right into a first-team common and one of many world’s greatest defenders beneath the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, who’s now Manchester Metropolis’s supervisor.
Piqué was a significant a part of these well-known Barcelona groups, identified for it’s tiki-taka type of play with Lionel Messi the principle focus.
The defender performed 615 video games – together with 396 within the Spanish league and 126 within the Champions League – with Barcelona, successful eight La Liga title and the Champions League thrice.
This season, Piqué has fallen down the pecking order as Barcelona try and transition to a brand new period, that means he’s discovered his enjoying time restricted.
“I’ve been pondering so much about … what little Gerard would have thought had all his desires come true,” he stated.
“That he would make it to the Barca first workforce, that he would win each trophy attainable. That he would turn into a European champion and world champion. That he would play alongside a few of the greatest gamers in historical past, and captain the membership and make mates for all times.
“It has been 25 years since I joined Barca, I left and I got here again. Soccer has given me every little thing. I’ve at all times stated that I might not be in some other workforce after I left Barca, and that’s how it is going to be.”
In recent times, there have been rumors that Piqué may very well be excited about working to turn into Barcelona’s membership president. And he hinted that his time on the membership isn’t over.
“I’ll turn into an everyday fan,” Piqué stated. “I’ll help the workforce. I’ll move my love for Barca to my youngsters, like my household did with me. And you already know me, eventually, I shall be again.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta paid tribute to Piqué, calling him a part of the material of the membership.
“Piqué is a part of the Barca badge, he has achieved every little thing with the membership,” Laporta said.
“He’ll at all times be an icon for the culers, he has greater than demonstrated what he needs from Barca. 25 years he has been linked to the membership. It has been an honor to have him as a Barca participant.”
Piqué’s contract ran till 2024, however in accordance with La Vanguardia newspaper the 35-year-old will forego the remaining year-and-a-half of his wage, a gesture that can assist Barca given the membership’s nicely documented monetary issues.
Piqué was additionally a stalwart for the Spanish nationwide workforce earlier than retiring from worldwide soccer in 2018.
He earned 102 caps for Spain, successful the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships two years later.
Exterior of soccer, Piqué turned the proprietor of Andorran membership, FC Andorra, in 2018.
Final season, the membership – which performs within the Spanish league system – was promoted to the second tier of Spanish soccer for the primary time in its historical past. And this season, it’s having fun with one other stellar season, presently sitting in ninth within the desk.
In June, Piqué and longtime accomplice Colombian pop star Shakira introduced they had been separating.