Barcelona’s Gerard Pique announces sudden retirement

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from football when the Spanish league is suspended for the World Cup this month.

Pique, 35, said Saturday’s game against Almeria would be his last at Camp Nou after 14 years away from the club since returning from Manchester United in 2008.

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Barca then travel to Osasuna next week for the last time before the World Cup in Qatar.

“For the past few weeks, months, people have been talking about me,” PK said in a video posted on social media. “Until now I haven’t said anything, but now I want to be the one talking about me.”

“Like many of you, I’ve always been a Barcelona fan. I was born into a football-loving family. From a very young age, I didn’t want to be a footballer, I wanted to play for Barcelona.”

“Recently, I have been thinking a lot about that boy, who was told that he will fulfill all his dreams – that he will play for Barça, that he will win all the trophies, that he will be the champion of Europe and the world.

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“To play with the best players in history, to be one of the captains of the team … football has given me everything, you fans have given everything. And now my childhood dream has come true. I want to tell you that I have decided that it is time to bring this journey to an end.

“I have always said that there will be no other team after Barcelona, ​​and that will be the case. Saturday’s game will be my last at Camp Nou.

“I will be a permanent supporter, I will support the team and pass on my love for the club to my children, just like my family did with me. And you know me, sooner or later I will be back. See you at the camp.” Visca Barça, always and forever.

Pique’s grandfather was on the board at Barcelona and Pique joined the club’s academy in 1997 before moving to Man United in 2004.

He returned to Barça in 2008 after four years in Manchester, which included a season-long loan with Real Zaragoza in Spain and 23 first-team appearances.

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He was part of Pep Guardiola’s side that won the treble in the 2008-09 season and would go on to win eight La Liga titles and three Champions League titles along with many other trophies.

In the year He won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Cup in 2012 during his nine-year spell with Spain, during which time he earned 102 caps before retiring from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Pique has been with the first team in his first 14 seasons but has been promoted this year following the signings of centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Jules Kunde.

Despite being dominated by Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia, Pique has managed to play 9 games this season due to injuries elsewhere.

However, following the 3-3 draw with Inter Milan last month, Pique came under fire for left-back Marcos Alonso’s use in front of the defence, prompting him to consider retirement despite being under contract until the season. In the year 2024

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Barcelona told Pique in the summer that minutes would be hard to come by this season in order to reduce the wages of some veterans, including Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

Pique, Busquets and Alba have all agreed to pay cuts and deferrals at various times in recent years to help the club deal with its difficult financial situation.

However, due to late payments, their wages will take up a bigger chunk of Barca’s budget than the minutes they have played under Xavi this season.

Sources contacted by ESPN could not immediately confirm whether Pique’s retirement would mean he agreed to waive the money owed to him or whether an agreement had been reached with Barca.

Pique, who will turn 36 in January, already has many other interests outside of football. Through his company Cosmos, he developed the Davis Cup tennis tournament, and also owns second division Andorra.

He has previously said he plans to run for Barcelona president after his retirement, although it has remained an option in recent years, but it is not something he is definitely pursuing.



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