Gerard Pique has announced that he is retiring from professional football and says his last game on Saturday will be Barcelona’s match against Almeria at the Camp Nou.
The 35-year-old, three-time Champions League and eight-time La Liga winner with boys’ club Barcelona revealed the news in a video message on his social media.
“Football has given me everything,” he said. “Barcelona has given me everything. You, culers (Barcelona fans), gave me everything.
“And now that [this] childhood dreams have come true, I want to tell you that I have decided that now is the time to bring this journey to an end.”
Piqué, who won 102 caps for Spain and helped them to victory in the 2010 World Cup, has become an afterthought for Barcelona this season, with just five starts.
However, the former Manchester United defender wants his youth club to be his last, saying: “I’ve always said there would be no other team after Barca and there will be.”
Pique closed his statement with a hint at a future return to the club in a non-playing capacity.
“Saturday’s game will be my last at Camp Nou,” he said. “I will become a regular fan. I will support the team. I will pass on my love for Barcelona to my children.
“And you know me – sooner or later I’ll be back.”
Gerard Pique .’s most important trophies
- English League Cup – 2006
- Eredivisie – 2008
- Champions League – 2008 (Man Utd), 2009, 2011, 2015 (Barcelona)
- La Liga – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
- Copa del Rey – 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021
- European Super Cup – 2009, 2011, 2015
- Club World Cup – 2009, 2011, 2015
- World Cup – 2010
- European championship – 2012
‘A member of Barca from birth’
Following his decision to end his playing career, Barcelona described Pique – who was born in the city and whose grandfather was on the club’s board – as a “member since birth”.
He made his way through the famed La Masia academy but made his debut for United in 2004 after moving to Old Trafford earlier that year as a 17-year-old.
Pique won the League Cup, Premier League and Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson, but played just 23 games during his four-year spell in England, eventually returning to Barcelona under newly appointed Pep Guardiola.
Under the former Barça midfielder, Pique became a key player for the club he supports, helping them to three La Liga titles and two Copa del Reys, plus two Champions League titles, two European Super Cup victories and victories in two Club World Cups.
Pique remained a key member of Barcelona after Guardiola’s departure, winning a further 13 major trophies in the 11 years since the manager left the club.
The 35-year-old also played a pivotal role in Spain’s success, playing every minute of the 2010 World Cup win over the Netherlands and the 2012 European Championship win against Italy, before ending his international career after the 2018 World Cup.