FC Barcelona's Gerard Piqué Announces Retirement From Soccer

FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué announced on Nov. 3 that he's retiring from soccer. Read the message from athlete, who announced in June that he and Shakira split after 11 years together.

By Elyse Dupre Nov 03, 2022 9:03 PMTags
Watch: Is Shakira Shading Ex Gerard Pique in Her New Music?

Gerard Piqué is hanging up his cleats.

The FC Barcelona player, 35, announced on Nov. 3 that he's retiring from soccer, noting that the team's LaLiga match against UD Almería on Nov. 5 will be his last at his home stadium Spotify Camp Nou. 

In a video message announcing his decision to step away from the sport, Piqué addressed recent rumors about him. "The last few weeks, months, lots of people have been talking about me," he said. "Until now, I haven't said anything. But now, I want to be the one talking about me." 

The athlete noted he's "always been a Barca fan" throughout his life. "I was born in a football-loving family of Barca fans," he continued. "From a very young age, I didn't want to become a football player. I wanted to be a Barca player."

Piqué's journey to that goal began 25 years ago when he joined the club's youth team U12 B at age 10, his FC Barcelona bio noted, with him advancing through the different levels over the years. In 2004, the defender joined Manchester United F.C. in England. Four years later—which included being loaned to Spain's Real Zaragoza—Piqué returned to his home city to play for FC Barcelona. He's played there ever since and has helped his team win numerous honors, including three UEFA Champions League titles and three Club World Cups.

Shakira & Gerard Piqué: Romance Rewind

And Piqué—who also played for Spain's national team—can't help but think back to his childhood days when he dreamed of playing for FC Barcelona. 

"I've been thinking a lot about that kid lately," he continued in his video. "About what little Gerard would have thought if he had been told that all of his dreams would come true. That he would make it to Barca first team. That he would win every trophy possible. That he would become European Champion and World Champion. That he would play alongside the best players in history. That he would become one of the team's captains. That he would make friends for life."

David Ramos/Getty Images

And while he's thankful for his time as a professional footballer, he's ready for what's next. "It's been 25 years since I joined Barca," Piqué continued. "I left, and I came back. Football has given me everything. Barca has given me everything. You, culers, have given me everything. And now that all that kid's dreams have come true, I want to tell you that I've decided that now is the time to bring this journey to its end. I've always said that there would not be any other team after Barca. And that's how it will be." 

So what will he do now? "I will become a regular fan. I will support the team," Piqué—who shares two kids with his ex Shakira—noted. "I will pass my love for Barca to my children. Like my family did with me. And you know me, sooner or later, I'll be back. I'll see you at Camp Nou. Long live Barca. Always."

And FC Barcelona is grateful for his time on the team. "A lifetime dedicated to Barca," the organization tweeted Nov. 3. "Thank you, Piqué."

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