Barcelona defender and one of the most decorated footballers in the world, Gerard Piqué announced his retirement from the sport in an emotional video on 3 November.
The Spanish defender is to play his last game on 5 November at Camp Nou for the Catalan Club before the clubs take a break for the impending FIFA World Cup 2022.
The 35-year-old celebrated player was previously with Manchester United before returning to Barcelona in 2008. His accolades include Champions Leagues, eight La Liga titles and seven Copas del Rey. Dubbed a Barca legend, Piqué stated in an emotional video on Twitter that it was his lifelong dream to play for Barcelona and he is grateful to football for giving him everything.
Gerard Piqué retirement: A moment in football history
Piqué’s response to fans’ criticism
The Barca defender addressed the criticism he is receiving from some of his fans and said, “The last few weeks, months, people have been talking about me. 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.”
Further explaining what exactly led him to draw the curtain on his footballing career he said, “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.”
Culers, us he de dir una cosa. pic.twitter.com/k3V919pm1T
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) November 3, 2022
What next for Piqué?
For the uninitiated, the player’s grandfather was a member of the board at Barcelona and Piqué himself was part of the academy of the club from 1997 to 2004. Piqué has mentioned before that he is interested in running for Barcelona president but it is not clear whether he would actively pursue this now.
He owns a company called Kosmos through which he has revived the Davis Cup tennis tournament. He has also bought the fifth-tier Spanish team, Andorra.
(Main and featured image credit: Gerard Pique/ Twitter)