Gerard Pique played his final game in professional football on Saturday night, bringing the curtain down on his illustrious career following Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Almeria.
Pique and his two sons, Milan and Sasha, led the teams out on a night their family will never forget.
Barcelona players paid tribute to their departing teammate by donning shirts with “Pique 3” as they came out of the Camp Nou tunnel.
La Liga added a sophisticated touch by thanking the defender on their live coverage after the game.
Manager Xavi substituted the defender 10 minutes from time, giving him a chance to bid farewell to the Camp Nou faithful and hug his teammates.
Barcelona players wore Gerard Pique shirts before his final game at Camp Nou ? pic.twitter.com/W3IpCr3wVj
— GOAL (@goal) November 5, 2022
Pique delivers an emotional farewell speech to Barcelona fans
The occasion impacted Pique, who was in tears as he left the pitch.
By full-time, the 35-year-old had regained his composure. Still, as the 90,000 spectators in the stadium paid respect to one of the club’s greatest superstars of the modern period, he started crying again.
“Thanks, first of all. To all of my coworkers, the personnel, and the coaches. To everyone who makes our lives simpler every day,” Pique stated in an impassioned speech to the audience.
“We appreciate the board’s support over the years. As you get older and progress through life, sometimes wanting means letting go.”
“I adore Barça tremendously. I believe that is why now is the appropriate time to leave. In a relationship marked by such intense love and desire, separating and allowing us some breathing room was necessary.”
“I am confident I will return. This isn’t goodbye; I left years ago and then returned. I was born and will pass away here.”
Pique went through all the emotions after the final game of his career ? pic.twitter.com/xIr4YrOZOu
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 5, 2022
Xavi hails the iconic Gerrard Pique
Gerard Pique received plaudits from Barcelona manager Xavi after his farewell performance for La Blaugrana at Camp Nou.
Following an emotional on-field interview in which Pique expressed his desire to rejoin the team in the future, Xavi praised Pique’s legacy influence in Catalonia.
“It was a momentous night for everyone, but especially for Gerard.”
“We wanted to send him off in the most excellent way possible since he played a terrific game.”
“He performs better the more significant the game is. I’ve already informed him that he is a legend at Barcelona and that we are grateful to him.”
Given that Xavi anticipates deciding his fitness in the next few days, he might play during the team’s midweek trip to Osasuna.
The Last Dance@3gerardpique #Sempr3 pic.twitter.com/Va9D4ACVY1
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 5, 2022
Jordi Alba and Bosquets pay tribute to the spectacular Gerrard Pique
As the Barcelona defender Gerard Pique announces his retirement from professional football, teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets have showered the defender with adulation.
Left-back Alba shared his thoughts on his 10-year comrade in a post-game interview.
“I apologize.” After the game, Alba told reporters, “I’m grateful for everything he’s given us.”
“He has accomplished a lot for the club. It’s unfortunate in the end. His absence is going to be felt both in terms of football and in terms of people. The rule of life is this.”
“Every game he played contained his soul. It’s unfortunate. The dressing room’s departure aspect is crucial. All of us will sorely miss him.”
“People are aware of all that he has provided Barcelona and are aware of it. Let’s endeavor to win championships to honor him.”
Alba also acknowledged that Pique’s retirement came unexpectedly, even for his teammates.
Busquets, a midfielder with Pique since 2009, was also quick to express his admiration for Pique.
“Gerard leaves behind a magnificent legacy. He created history,” Busquets claimed.
“Gerrard has made extra effort for the club. He has produced an amazing environment. He serves as an example of what a Barça player should be and do.”