‘I will be back’: Barcelona legend Gerard Piqué announces retirement aged 35

The Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué has announced he will retire and that this Saturday’s game against Almería at the Camp Nou will be his last.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, who won the World Cup in 2010 and the Champions League on three occasions with Barcelona, posted the message on his social media channels adding: “It is the moment to end this stage of my life. I always said that after Barcelona there will be no other club, and that is the way it is going to be.”

Piqué has played 615 games for Barcelona, scoring 52 goals. In addition to the treble of European Cups, he helped Barcelona win eight Spanish league titles and seven Copa del Rey crowns.

“I will become a regular fan,” Piqué continued. “I will support the team. I will pass my love for Barça to my children, like my family did with me. And you know me, sooner or later, I will be back.”

It is thought he might launch a bid to become Barcelona president in the future, after taking an active role in helping with the club’s finances last year, including a voluntary pay cut.

Piqué, who also helped Spain win the 2012 European Championship before his international retirement in 2018, lost his place in the starting XI this season after Barcelona brought in new players including Jules Koundé and Marcos Alonso.

Piqué came up through Barcelona’s youth academy, playing alongside Lionel Messi as a teenager, before leaving for Manchester United. He returned to Barcelona in 2008 under Pep Guardiola and immediately blossomed as a skilled defender thanks to his smarts, passing skills and leadership.

He quickly became one of the finest centre-backs in the world as part of a great Barcelona team, led by Lionel Messi,.

Piqué stood out from other players for his interest in business ventures off the field. He successfully overhauled tennis’s Davis Cup competition, while also getting into controversial deals with the Spanish federation involving its holding of the Spanish Super Cup competition in Saudi Arabia.