Gerard Pique, one of the last standing pillars of the great Barcelona side, has announced his retirement from football with Barcelona’s game at the weekend against Almería his last for the club.
The World Cup-winning centre-back confirmed his decision with a video posted on his social media channels.
“Like many of you, I have always been a Barcelona fan. I was born into a football-loving family. From a very young age, I did not want to become a footballer, I wanted to play for Barca.
“I have always said that after Barcelona there will be no other team, and that is how it will be. This Saturday’s game will be my last at Camp Nou.” Pique said in the video.
Since moving back to Barcelona from Manchester United, Pique became an integral part of the Barcelona side which dominated football under Pep Guardiola alongside Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Puyol and Dani Alves.
He went on to win three European Cups, Eight Spanish league titles and seven Copa del Rey crowns among other titles with the Catalan giants during his tenure scoring 52 times during the 615 appearances.
Pique also tasted success with the Spanish national side winning the 2008 and 2012 European crowns as well as the 2010 World Cup before retiring in 2018.
However, his relationship with the club’s supporters suffered recently due to the club’s ongoing financial crisis with the 36-year-old one of the few people not accepting a reported pay cut and being blamed for the club’s ouster from the Champions League owing to his underwhelming play.
With his replacements already in place, Pique had little choice but to hang up his boots.
His retirement does not mean Barcelona has seen the last of Gerard Pique as he possesses more business savvy than his cohorts.
Through his company, Kosmos, he has revamped the Davis Cup tennis tournament and owns the second-division side Andorra.
He has also long been touted to become the President of Barcelona one day.