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Pique says he delayed retirement decision because of Barcelona injuries

The club’s defense has been hit this season

FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Gerard Pique has been explaining his decision to retire midway through the season and says he would have done it earlier but chose to delay his decision due to the club’s injury problems.

Barca saw Ronald Araujo ruled out for several months in September after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury, while Eric Garcia, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde have also suffered physical problems in 2022-23.

Pique told Ibai Llanos on Twitch that he realized earlier this season that it was time to call it a day but had to wait until the time was right.

“There were a lot of reasons [for retiring] which I had been thinking about throughout the season,” he said.

“I spoke with Xavi at the start of the campaign and he told me it would be difficult for me this year, but I wanted to give it a go. Last year had been good for me personally.

“But the sensations were not good in general. There were moments I thought about retiring earlier when I was not playing. After one game, I was doing the post-game session at Camp Nou for players that had not played and I thought about going into the dressing room and calling it a day.

“In the end, with the injuries we had in defence, I delayed the decision but now, with the World Cup break, felt like a good moment.”

The defender’s career ended with a red card against Osasuna after he complained to referee Gil Manzano at half-time. The referee’s report has claimed Pique launched into an X-rated tired but he claims that was not the case.

“I went to talk to him about various moments in the game, saying that he had screwed us and, at that moment, he sent me off,” Pique said. “I had not said anything else at that moment and he dismissed me.

“His report is not right. I did not insult him or anything,” he added. “Then, once sent off, I go into the dressing room, which is next to the referee’s dressing room, and a teammate shouts the phrase that is in his report. And the referee hears that next door and puts the words in my mouth.”

Pique also admitted once again that he quite fancies being Barcelona president at some point in the future but “not right now.”

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