On Thursday, the football world was rocked by Gerard Pique announcing his retirement.
The 35-year-old, a three-time Champions League and eight-time La Liga winner with boyhood club Barcelona, revealed the news in a video message posted on his social media
The news surprised all the media and Pique’s teammates, something that no one expected.
A retirement in the middle of the season, in November, is unusual, but when the reasons are considered then the decision begins to make sense
“Football has given me everything,” he said. “Barcelona has given me everything. You, culers (Barcelona fans), have given me everything.
“And now that [this] 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.”
Pique, who won 102 caps for Spain and helped them to victory in the 2010 World Cup, has become a peripheral figure for Barcelona this season, making only five starts.
However, the former Manchester United defender wants his boyhood club to be his last, saying: “I’ve always said that there would not be any other team after Barca and that’s how it will be.”
Pique finished his statement by hinting at a future return to the club in a non-playing capacity.
“This Saturday’s game will be my last at Camp Nou,” he said. “I will become a regular fan. I will support the team. I will pass my love for Barcelona to my children.
“And you know me – sooner or later, I’ll be back.”