Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect. The centre-back will be playing his last game this weekend against Almeria, before hanging up his boots.
The defender’s decision to retire in the middle of the season despite having a contract until 2024 was met with a lot of surprise. His role in the team has diminished due to other options in the team, but he was expected to continue for the next few years prior to his announcement.
Gerard Pique announces immediate retirement from football
“The last few weeks, months, people have been talking about me,” Gerard Pique said in a video posted across social media. “Until now, I have not said anything, but now I want to be the one who is talking about me.
“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.
“Recently, I have thought a lot about that kid. If he had been told he would fulfil all his dreams — that he would play for Barca, that he would win every trophy possible, that he would be a European and world champion.
“That he would play with the best players in history, that he would become one of the team’s captains. … Football has given me everything. You, the fans, have given me everything. And now my childhood dreams have been fulfilled, I want to tell you that I’ve decided that now is the time to bring this journey to its end.
“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.
“I will become a regular fan, I will support the team and transmit my love for the club to my kids, like my family did with me. And you know me, sooner or later I will be back. See you at Camp Nou. Visca Barca, always and forever.”
Over the course of his career, Gerard Pique has won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues with Barcelona. With the Spanish national team, he won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros, earning 102 caps before retiring in 2018.