Gerard Pique announces Barcelona contract termination and retirement


Barcelona and Gerard Pique have announced that they’ve reached an agreement for the contract of the veteran defender to be terminated in the coming days with immediate effect, and he will no longer be a professional football player. The match the Catalans will play against Almeria at the Camp Nou on Saturday will be the last of what has been a truly illustrious career.

Having started out at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, Pique left their Under-19 side for a while to join Manchester United in 2004 and had a brief loan with Real Zaragoza too, before rejoining his current club in 2008.

In the 14 years gone since, Pique has made 615 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 53 goals and producing 15 assists from his position as a centre-back. He was a vital player for everything the Catalans achieved in the era that followed, one of the most successful any club has ever had.

The 102-cap Spain international retires at the age of 35, with four Champions League trophies (three with Barcelona, one with United), three UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups, eight La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey and six Spanish Super Cup trophies, a Premier League title, one English League Cup, and one Community Shield. On top of such remarkable achievements at club level, he helped his country win the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.

However, his teammate from those glory days Xavi Hernandez, now the head coach, obviously feels a new era is due when it comes to the back line. This term, Pique has started only three La Liga matches so far, with Andreas Christensen and Eric Garcia pairing up in the hear of defence.