Gerard Pique retires from Barcelona 25 years after joining club for first time

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Gerard Pique retires from Barcelona 25 years after joining club for first time

Arguably the greatest central defender in Barcelona’s history, Gerard Pique, has announced he is retiring from football.

The 35-year-old central defender joined the club’s youth system at the age of 10 in 1997 in an age group that would eventually feature Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi.

He then joined Manchester United in 2004 and would spend four years in total at Old Trafford, one of which was on loan at Real Zaragoza.

Keen to fight for a first-team spot, he returned to Barcelona or just €5m and would go on to mark an era at Camp Nou.

He was part of the first Spanish side to win a treble in 2009 and the second in 2015. Pique would also win every trophy available in the calendar year of 2009, the sextuple, the first time that has been achieved too.

During that golden period Pique quickly asserted himself as a regular for the Spanish national side, taking his partnership with Carles Puyol to the 2010 World Cup and winning it. Until his retirement in 2018, he was first choice alongside Sergio Ramos, also winning the 2012 Euros as part of another unprecedented run in international football for La Roja.

Controversial for his outspoken manner and consistent attempts to wind up the media in Madrid and, naturally, Real Madrid.

He finished last season as a first-choice defender, even with his powers waning, but has been a last resort this campaign. On Thursday evening he released a video on social media with the caption ‘Culers, I have something to say to you.;’

Pique announced that this Saturday against Almeria would be his last game at Camp Nou as a Barcelona player. He also reiterated that he would not be joining another team, meaning this is his retirement. It is not yet clear if he will be available for their away fixture against Osasuna next week.

Barcelona bid goodbye to a legend of the game and one of its largest characters. While he has come under criticism in recent seasons, it is unlikely that his replacements will ever fill his boots.

Source by Football Espana

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