Gerard Pique announced his retirement on Thursday evening with an emotional video looking back at his beginnings in the game. His departure comes 25 years after he joined the Barcelona ranks in 1997, bringing to an end one of the most illustrious careers in football history.
Few will reach the numbers Pique did. With at least one more to come against Almeria on Saturday, Pique accumulated a total of 768 appearances, 666 of which were at club level. The vast majority, 615, were at his beloved Barcelona. He played 28 times for Real Zaragoza in his season on loan there and 23 times for Manchester United.
In total Pique managed 63 goals from central defence, always showing excellent technique whenever he made his way forward. 53 of those were for Barcelona, 3 for Zaragoza and 2 for United – he also contributed 15 assists in Blaugrana.
For Spain, he became a centurion in his final World Cup, reaching 102 appearances, with five goals coming across his nine years on the international scene. During that time he won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros.
In total Pique won 36 trophies, 34 at club level. That included 4 Champions Leagues, 8 La Ligas, a Premier League, 7 Copa del Reys, an FA Cup, a League Cup and 3 Club World Cups. He lies just 7 trophies behind Dani Alves, the most decorated footballer in history, which goes to show the level of his success over an 18-year senior career.
He was sent of 11 times and booked on 163 occasions, totalling 55,295 minutes on the pitch – 38.4 days on the pitch in total.
Beyond the numbers, Pique’s was part of a Barcelona side that revolutionised the modern game. His trademark cross-field passes from centre-back were rarely seen before he popularised them and he stood out as one of the most well-rounded central defenders in the history of the game.
Source by Football Espana