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Gerard Pique, a Barcelona defender, has announced his retirement from football after a nearly two-decade career.

The center-back announced his retirement from football when the Spanish League resumes this month in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Pique claims that Saturday’s LaLiga encounter against Almeria will be his final at Camp Nou for the Catalan club after 14 years with the first team since his return from Manchester United in 2008.

In a video shared on social media, he 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.

“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.

Gerard Pique retires from international football

“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.”

 

His retirement video arrives roughly five months after he announced his divorce from his partner, singer Shakira, with whom he has two daughters.

Pique’s grandpa was a member of the Barcelona board of directors, and he entered the club’s academy in 1997 before leaving for Manchester United in 2004.

After four years in Manchester, including a season-long loan to Real Zaragoza in Spain and 23 first-team games for the English club, he returned to Barcelona in 2008.

He was part of the team that won the triple under Pep Guardiola in 2008-09, and he will leave having won eight LaLiga crowns and three Champions Leagues, among many other trophies.

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