Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique retired from professional football on Wednesday following his final training session. The curious timing of the decision, midway through the season, has led some to wonder if he was pushed towards the decision in order to help Barcelona’s finances.
President Joan Laporta has said that his retirement was Pique’s decision, but has basically admitted that they tried to do so in the summer.
Speaking in an interview with Sport, Laporta was of the opinion that if he had been a regular this season, Pique would have continued.
“Piqué’s departure was decided by himself. No doubt motivated by his situation on the pitch. If Gerard had had the coach’s confidence and had played like an undisputed starter, he obviously wouldn’t have left. Piqué has decided what he wanted to do and we, from the board of directors, respect it.”
Yet in the summer, Laporta confirmed that both he and Xavi Hernandez tried to persuade him to leave.
“Xavi has been very honest with him. From the very start the coach told him that he was not going to use him and I also discussed his situation with him. But Gerard is a competitive man, a winner, and he still saw himself as a starter and wanted to continue.”
“Although in the end he has seen reality and has made a decision. He has had a way of saying goodbye to the club, given the rush, it was very nice. We always want our heroes to be eternal but it is impossible.”
A deal to rescind his contract has already been agreed – it sounds as if Pique will give up much of the salary owed to him.
“Yes. It is already signed. The club will pay him what corresponds until the last day that Gerard has worked.”
Whether that last day includes the deferred payments of his salary until now ,or just what he was earning this season, will no doubt be the subject of much speculation.
It appears clear to some that there has been a split between Pique and the club. No farewell press conference was given at the club and Pique instead appeared in a Twitch interview with Ibai Llanos on the evening of his retirement.
Source by Football Espana