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'The best!' - Football world reacts to Pique's shock Barcelona retirement announcement

21:28 EAT 03/11/2022
Gerard Pique bench 2022-23
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique's abrupt retirement announcement on Thursday brought an outpouring of love on social media.

WHAT HAPPENED? Gerard Pique said in a social media video that he would play just one more match in his career - a home game against Almeria on Saturday.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Pique's role at Barcelona had been greatly diminished in recent years, he was still expected to remain at the club through the campaign. His announcement came as a surprise. He's the latest great Blaugrana player to retire from a wildly successful era that featured Xavi, Carles Puyol and many others at their peaks.

WHAT THEY SAID: Pique's replies were full of appreciation from players and coaches, both past and present.

"You are the best," commented Ferran Torres.

"Thanks for everything," wrote Patrick Kluivert.

"A pleasure to share locker room and the field together!" said Giuseppe Rossi. "You are number 1 Gerry! A big hug. Enjoy you deserve it."

Fellow Spain international Aymeric Laporte said: "You're great! Thank you 🙏🏼😕"

"Always on my team," wrote Ivan Rakitic.

Former team-mates Javier Mascherano and Rafinha reacted with raised hands and heart emojis, respectively.

IN A PHOTO:

A legendary career with so much joy...

WHAT NEXT FOR PIQUE? It will be an emotional weekend at Camp Nou for the legendary centre-back, as the club will likely honour him before the game.