Gerard Pique has announced he will retire after Barcelona’s La Liga game against Almeria on Saturday.
“I’ve always said that there would not be any other team after Barca – and that’s how it will be”
Pique, 35, will play his last game at Camp Nou for the Catalan club after 14 years in the club following his return from Manchester United in 2008.
Pique joined the Barcelona’s academy in 1997 before leaving for Man United in 2004.
After four years in Manchester, which included a season-long loan back in Spain with Real Zaragoza, he returned to Barca in 2008.
He was part of the team that won the treble in the 2008-09 season under Pep Guardiola.
Pique has won eight LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues, among many other trophies.
He also won the World Cup in 2010 and the 2012 European Championship during a nine-year career with Spain, during which time he earned 102 caps.
He retired from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“The last few weeks, months, people have been talking about me,” 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.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.