Gerard Pique has given up €30 million he is owed by Barcelona after announcing a shock retirement from football.
The defender shared the news in a video on Thursday night, much to the surprise of Barca president Joan Laporta and the directors at the club.
After making just three starts in La Liga having fallen behind the likes of Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso in the pecking order at centre-back, Pique will play his final game against Almeria at the weekend.
The 35-year-old still had a contract until 2024 and it's been reported by El Larguero that Pique will renounce the money he is owed for the final two years of his deal.
Piqué renunciará a unos 30 millones de euros.— Sique RodríguezGairí (@SiqueRodriguez) November 3, 2022
Laporta no ha sabido hasta justo antes de publicarse el vídeo que Piqué iba a anunciar hoy que se marcha. Los directivos del Barça tampoco sabían nada.
👉 Más en @ellarguero @h25deportes y La Graderia de @BalcoSERCAT
The Blaugrana are still in a tough position financially and Pique's decision should go a long way to helping them free up funds.
He was one of the club's top earners and agreed a significant pay-cut to help them out in the summer of 2021 when they were struggling to register new players.
Some Barca fans did not believe Pique and so he went and posted a screenshot of his bank transfer to prove he did take the salary reduction.
"Football has given me everything," Pique said in a video announcing he is hanging up his boots imminently.
"Barcelona has given me everything. You, culers (Barcelona fans), have given me everything.
"And now that [this] kid's dreams have come true, I want to tell you that I've decided that now is the time to bring this journey to its end."
Pique, a boyhood Barca fan, came through the youth ranks at the club but then had a brief spell in England with Manchester United.
He returned in 2008 and went on to make 615 appearances across 15 seasons as a senior player, winning eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.
He has also been capped 102 times for Spain and won both the World Cup and European Championships.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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