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Pique retires: numbers behind the Barcelona and Spain legend

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from football. | PHOTO: Courtesy |
  • Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from professional football
  • The former Spain international will play his last match for Barcelona this Saturday at Camp Nou
  • Pique will undoubtedly be celebrates as a Barcelona and Spain legend after a 19 years career

With his retirement, Gerard Pique ends one of the most illustrious careers in Barcelona and Spanish football history.

Pique helped his country win its first World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship two years later. He also won eight La Liga crowns and three Champions Leagues with Barca.

The legendary Los Cules player, who played more than 600 times for his hometown club, has made the decision to retire at the age of 35 following Barça’s upcoming encounter against Almeria on Saturday.

Since the news broke, a number of well-known players have praised Pique, including former players Patrick Kluivert and Fabio Cannavaro. Carles Puyol, Pique’s former center-back partner at Barcelona, has called it a “pleasure” to have played with him.

A BARCELONA LEGEND

Only four players have played more games for Barcelona than Pique (614), and they are Lionel Messi (778), Xavi (767) – now Barcelona manager, Sergio Busquets (694) and Andres Iniesta (674)—all of whom were teammates on the dynamite Barca team of the 2010s. Pique will inarguably retire as a Camp Nou legend.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique in a past action for Barcelona in the La Liga. The defender will play his last La Liga match this Saturday after announcing retirement. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Pique began his career in the youth systems of Barcelona before leaving for Manchester United in 2004. There, in the 2007–2008 season, he won the Premier League and the Champions League.

Pique, who returned to Barcelona in 2008, has since won 422 of his 614 games across all competitions with the club. The defender lifted the FIFA Club World Cup on three occasions and the Copa del Rey seven times.

During Barca’s most prosperous spell in the history og the club, he won 30 trophies with the team.

A PILLA FOR HIS NATIONAL TEAM

The defender also made his name at the international level. Between 2009 and 2018, Pique earned 102 caps for the Spain national team, becoming one of only 13 players to appear 100 or more times for the La Roja.

Pique participated in the whole final when Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time to win their first World Cup in 2010, and then he was also involved when they went on to defeat Italy 4-0 to win the 2012 Euros.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique is also a Spain national team legend aside from Barcelona great. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

He netted five goals for Spain, all five goals coming against different opponents, and three of them in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

EUROPEAN GREAT

Pique played 128 matches in the UEFA Champions League matches than with Real Madrid and fellow Spain legend Sergio Ramos (135) playing more than Pique, another record he holds in the competition is that he and Roberto Carlos both had the most goals scored by defenders in the competition (16).

Only Xavi completed more passes than him in the 2008–09 Champions League season who completed 967 against Pique’s 695, the same season, he finished with the most ball recoveries (90) in the tournamnet.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, and Luka Modric have more Champions League championships; the Real Madrid legends each have five.

Pique had fallen out of favour under Xavi this season and the defender on Thursday announced that he has decided to call time on his illustrious career.

The defender was booed by Barcelona fans at Camp Nou in the recent 3-0 victory over Villarreal, with head coach Xavi and former team-mate Andres Iniesta both defending him afterwards.

The negative reaction was believed to be the reaction by fans to Pique’s part in the costly 3-3 Champions League draw with Inter – which dropped Barca out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second season in a row, and he referenced the discussion around him in his announcement.

Pique has a host of off-field interests though his own investment group which he founded the Kosmos Holding and will be expected to concentrate on the group after his exit from football.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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