Barcelona’s Gerard Pique pronounces sudden retirement

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has introduced that he’ll retire from soccer when the Spanish league breaks for the World Cup this month.

Pique, 35, says Saturday’s match in opposition to Almeria in LaLiga shall be his final at Camp Nou for the Catalan membership after 14 years within the first staff following his return from Manchester United in 2008.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)

Barca then journey to Osasuna subsequent week for his or her remaining fixture earlier than the World Cup in Qatar.

“For weeks there was discuss me,” Pique mentioned in a video posted throughout social media. “I’ve not mentioned something however I need to converse now.

“Like lots of you, coming from a soccer household, I’ve at all times been a Barcelona fan. I didn’t need to be a footballer, I wished to play for Barca.

“Lately, I’ve thought so much about once I was youthful, about what that Gerard would have thought if I informed him he would fulfil all his goals, that he would play for Barça and be a European and world champion.

“That he would play with one of the best gamers, that he would captain the membership… soccer has given me every thing, Barca have given me every thing, you the followers have given me every thing. And now my childhood goals have been fulfilled, the second has arrived to shut this chapter.

“I’ve at all times mentioned that after Barcelona there shall be no different staff and that’s how it will likely be. Saturday shall be my final recreation at Camp Nou.

“I’ll develop into one other fan after, I’ll help the staff and transmit my love for the membership to my youngsters, like they did with me. And you already know me, ultimately I shall be again. See you at Camp Nou. Visca Barca, at all times and without end.”

Pique’s grandad was on the board at Barcelona and he joined the membership’s academy in 1997, leaving for Man United in 2004.

After 4 years in Manchester, which included a season-long mortgage again in Spain with Actual Zaragoza and 23 first staff appearances for the English facet, he returned to Barca in 2008.

Underneath Pep Guardiola, he was a part of the facet that gained the Treble within the 2008-09 season and he’ll depart having gained eight LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues, amongst many different trophies.

He was an ever-present in his first 14 seasons with the primary staff however has fallen down the pecking order this yr following the signing of centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde.

Regardless of being fifth selection in his place, with Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia additionally forward of him, accidents elsewhere have nonetheless allowed him to make 9 appearances in all competitions to date this season.

Nevertheless, following the 3-3 draw in opposition to Inter Milan final month, when Pique was singled out for criticism, left-back Marcos Alonso has been utilized in entrance of him in defence, prompting him to think about retiring mid-season regardless of having a contract till 2024.

Barca had informed Pique in the summertime that minutes could be onerous to return by this season as they appeared to both transfer on or cut back the salaries of among the veterans, together with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

Pique, Busquets and Alba have all readjusted their salaries and agreed to reductions and deferrals on their wages at numerous factors lately to assist the membership cope with a tough monetary scenario.

Nevertheless, with deferred funds due, their salaries take up a big chunk of Barca’s funds compared to what number of minutes they’ve been enjoying beneath Xavi this season.

Sources contacted by ESPN the place not instantly capable of affirm whether or not Pique’s retirement meant he had agreed to surrender the cash owed to him or if an settlement has been negotiated with Barca.

Pique, who will flip 36 in January, already has a lot of different pursuits outdoors of soccer. By means of his firm Kosmos he has revamped the Davis Cup tennis event and can also be the proprietor of second division facet Andorra.

He has beforehand mentioned that he plans to run to develop into Barca president as soon as he retires, though lately he has urged that whereas it stays an choice, it isn’t one thing he will certainly pursue.



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