Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has declared his retirement. In a video he posted on Instagram, the 35-year-old footballer, who has won multiple awards with the Catalan club, announced his choice.
Pique said that there won’t be a club after Barcelona and that he’ll teach his children to adore the Blaugrana.
Who is Gerard Piqué?
Gerard Piqué Bernabeu is a Spanish footballer who plays as a centre-back for La Liga club Barcelona. He was born on February 2, 1987. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation.
Piqué joined Manchester United in 2004 after being one of the most talented students at La Masia. Under Pep Guardiola’s leadership, he returned to Barcelona in 2008 and helped the club win trebles in 2008-09 and 2014-15. He is one of just four players to have won the UEFA Champions League with different teams two years in a row, including Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa, and Samuel Eto’o.
Piqué has also played 102 times for Spain, making his debut on February 11, 2009. He was a key member of the Spain squads that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 UEFA Euro. He left the national squad following the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Piqué co-founded Kosmos Holding with Hiroshi Mikitani (founder and chairman of Japanese e-commerce business Rakuten, Inc.), Edmund Chu, Nullah Sarker, and Mike Evans.
Kosmos has agreed to a 25-year, $3 billion collaboration with the International Tennis Federation that will change the Davis Cup and create significant cash for worldwide tennis development. In August 2018, US billionaire Larry Ellison announced his intention to join the Kosmos organisation in a public letter.
Also read: Who is Shakira?
Piqué purchased Spanish football team FC Andorra in December 2018 through his company Kosmos Holding. After defeating already relegated UCAM Murcia 1-0 at home on May 21, 2022, the squad was promoted to the Segunda División for the first time in their history.
Piqué acquired majority ownership in another Spanish football club, Gimnàstic Manresa, in July 2019. His company, Kosmos Holding, was also used to finalise the transaction. Piqué invested in the fantasy football game Sorare in December 2020. Under a cooperation with streamer Ibai Llanos, Kosmos purchased the Spanish broadcasting rights for the 2021 Copa América, and in 2021 he and Ibai created and became co-owners of the esports team KOI.
Piqué grew up in a Catalan family. Joan, his father, is a businessman, and Montserrat, his mother, is the director of a spinal injuries hospital in Barcelona. He has a younger brother named Marc. His grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, is a former vice president of Barcelona.
Many saw him as one of the prominent faces of the pro-independence side of the argument during the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, voting and tweeting his support in Catalan. He was afterward condemned by several Spanish supporters for his support of the Catalan independence referendum.
Piqué was in a relationship with Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira from 2011 to 2022. They first met when he starred in the music video for her single Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which was chosen as the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Piqué and Shakira were born ten years apart on the same day. They have two children together. The pair announced their separation in a joint statement in June 2022.
Piqué was the face of Mango’s men’s HE line for four straight campaign seasons, from 2011 to 2012. He provided the voice for the Catalan version of The Pirates! in 2012. As the Pirate King, in an Adventure with Scientists!
Tax fraud charges
Following his conviction for image rights fraud, Piqué was ordered by a Spanish court on July 10, 2019, to pay the tax authorities €2.1 million. From 2008 to 2010, the defender pretended to transfer his image rights to his Kerad Project company in order to pay less tax.