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Explained: Why Barcelona legend Pique is retiring from football

13:11 GMT+3 04/11/2022
Gerard Pique Barcelona 2022-23
Gerard Pique has taken the shock decision to retire from football midway through the 2022-23 season, but what led him to hang up his boots?

  • Pique wished to retire at Barca
  • Wouldn't accept substitute role
  • Felt he had a lot of football still left in him

WHAT HAPPENED? The defender confirmed in a video on social media that he will retire from football after Barcelona's clash against Almeria on Saturday in La Liga. He is calling it quits because he is not ready to accept a substitute's role and feels that he can still contribute a lot to football. The veteran has slipped behind Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Eric Garcia in the pecking order at Barcelona this season and has spent most of the campaign on the bench. He was given a chance to prove himself against Inter but he could not make the most of the opportunity as his lapse in concentration played Nicolo Barella onside and allowed the Italiansto equalise.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking in 2021, Pique said he wouldn't settle for a bench role at Camp Nou and would retire if that became the case. "I will retire at Barca. That is for sure. What I won't accept is playing as a substitute. If it comes to the last three months of a season and that happens, well... But a whole year on the bench? No, I don't want that," he said.

It seems he has stayed true to his word.

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

THE REACTION: A whole host of players and managers have reacted to the news that Pique will hang up his boots, including his Spain centre-back partner Sergio Ramos.