Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from professional football aged 35.
The Barcelona defender has revealed his last match will be on Saturday against Spain’s Almeria at the Nou Camp stadium in his hometown.
The 35-year-old – who is a three-time Champions League winner – thanked the sport for ‘giving him everything’ in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“Football gave me everything. Barcelona gave me everything. You culers [Barcelona fans]gave me everything,” Pique said in a clip shared with his 20.5 million followers.
“And now that [this] childhood dreams have come true, I want to tell you that I have decided that now is the time to end this trip.
Pique, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, has made it clear he is not looking to play for any side other than Barcelona.
“I always said there would be no other team after Barca and it will be like that,” he added.
Pique teased a potential return to the club, although he made it clear he wouldn’t be able to play.
“This Saturday’s game will be my last at the Camp Nou,” he said. “I will become a regular fan. I will support the team. I will pass on my love for Barcelona to my children. And you know me, sooner or later, I’ll be back.
Earlier this year, the football star’s fans were shocked to learn that he and his wife Shakira had separated over his alleged infidelity in June.
The couple first met in 2010, when the athlete appeared in the Colombian pop star’s music video for “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, which was the official theme song for the FIFA World Cup. world.
Pique, 35, is said to have started an affair with Clara Chia Marti, a 23-year-old public relations student. Photos of the two in public have reportedly angered Shakira, who shares two children with the Spaniard.
Elsewhere, Shakira is currently involved in a legal drama, in which she is accused of failing to pay millions in taxes to the Spanish government between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors will seek an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine. they manage to get a conviction. of the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer, who has denied any wrongdoing.