Gerard Pique 'snubbed' Barcelona farewell press conference after shock retirement
Pique wanted to bid farewell on his own terms
Gerard Pique reportedly turned down the offer of a special farewell press conference from Barcelona prior to his shock retirement announcement.
Pique, who has made over 600 appearances for his boyhood club, confirmed on Thursday that he was calling time on his playing career, with this weekend's La Liga game against Almeria set to be his last.
The 35-year-old has endured a difficult time of late, with his form under scrutiny after high-profile errors in the recent must-win Champions League game at home to Inter Milan.
Pique informed Laporta of his decision last week
According to Marca, Pique informed Barca president Joan Laporta of his decision to retire last week, explaining he believed it was in the best interests of him and the club.
His appearances have been limited under former teammate Xavi this season and his departure will free up money for the club amidst their well-documented financial troubles.
Feels like an appropriate time to remember this https://t.co/eWoo82MSeR
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 3, 2022
Though Laporta accepted his decision, he had hoped to stage a joint press conference, similar to the one put on for Lionel Messi prior to his abrupt departure to Paris Saint-Germain last year.
Pique, however, was having none of it, telling Barca's president that he wished to make the announcement on his own terms.
He did so via a video which was released on his social media platforms on Thursday.
Culers, us he de dir una cosa. pic.twitter.com/k3V919pm1T
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) November 3, 2022
Champions League exit a factor in his decision
Pique is said to have been considering retirement for a while, but opted to stay on at the club this season in the belief he could win his place as a regular starter back.
The draw with Inter Milan, in which he was heavily criticised for errors leading to goals, all but mathematically ruined Barca's hopes of progressing to the Champions League knock-out stages.
Their drop to the Europa League - for a second season in succession - was confirmed when Inter beat Viktoria Plzen 4-0 last week, leaving Barca to face Bayern Munich in a dead rubber later that night.
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