Barcelona star Gerard Pique trains for final match at Camp Nou - in pictures

Match against Almeria on Saturday will be Catalan veteran's last at home ground

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It was an emotional training session for Gerard Pique after the Barcelona veteran announced his retirement on Thursday, saying "the moment has come to end this journey".

Pique, 35, said in a video posted on social media that Saturday's league clash with Almeria will be his last at Barcelona's Camp Nou after 14 years with the Catalan giants. He will also be available for the club's final game before the World Cup at Osasuna on Tuesday.

"Saturday's match [against Almeria] will be my last at the Camp Nou," Pique posted on Twitter.

"I wanted to tell you that I've decided the moment has come to end this journey," he said in a video clip of the star watching images of himself as a small boy wearing the Barcelona shirt, or chasing after autographs.

"There's no other team after Barca. I'm going to become a super fan, I'll be supporting the team and pass on my love for Barca to my son."

The Spaniard helped Barca to eight La Liga crowns, seven Copas del Rey and three Champions League titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Pique takes his leave with Barca knocked out of the Champions League for the second season running.

Manager Xavi Hernandez says he understands Pique's decision to retire halfway through the season.

This season Xavi has only called on him because of injuries, with Pique behind Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia and Andreas Christensen in the pecking order at centre-back.

"They are tough circumstances for him, that have led to him quitting," Xavi said on Friday.

"Playing less, being less useful, I went through this situation too and it's normal to step aside. He deserves every commendation and for Barcelona fans to honour him, as he is a club legend."

Updated: November 05, 2022, 8:43 AM
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