Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reacted to Thursday’s shock news that Gerard Pique is set to retire from football after Saturday’s match against Almeria.
Pique made the announcement on Twitter and has confirmed he’s decided to call it a day almost immediately, with the game at the Camp Nou set to be his last.
Laporta says he knew what Pique was thinking but that the final decision was left to the 35-year-old to make.
“The retirement of Pique is something we’d spoken about three months ago and previously, with more intensity, we’d discussed the idea together, to value this possibility, but knowing how he is, we decided to leave the final decision up to him,” he told Barca TV.
“He’s always been a reference in the world of Barcelona, incomparable in all he’s done. 14 years in the first team, but I first saw Pique 25 years ago, since he was first connected to Barca.
“He’s made an emotional video, as president I feel moved because I saw the culer feeling that Gerard has and that he passes it onto his children, it’s really beautiful and I think it’s indisputable love for Barca.
“Gerard, aside from the success he’s had, and he’s achieved everything as a Barca player. He forms a part of the Barca crest. He’s one of those players who will always be a reference for all culers.”
Laporta also spoke about Pique’s contract. The president admitted the “severance agreement is still in the process of being finalized” but added “there is a great willingness to help the club because Gerard understands the situation.”