GERARD PIQUE broke down in tears as he said an emotional goodbye to Barcelona fans after playing his final match for the club.
The centre-back announced his plans to hang up his boots earlier this week after 14 years at the Nou Camp.
Pique, 35, was given a rousing reception from the Nou Camp faithful ahead of their match with Almeria – which they won 2-0.
As the game entered its dying embers, it was clear and evident that emotion was getting the better of the former Manchester United man.
And the Spaniard broke down in tears as he addressed his fellow Catalans in his farewell speech.
He said: âIn life, when you get older, you realize that sometimes to love is to let go. I’m convinced that Iâll be here again in the future.
âI love Barca. That’s why I consider it’s the right moment to go. This is not a goodbye. I was born here, Iâll die hereâ.
Pique’s former team-mate and now former manager Xavi also broke down as his countryman called time on his trophy-laden career.
The defender was given a hero’s send-off by his team-mates, who hoisted him in the air as fans bellowed out his name one last time.
Pique announced his retirement in a shocking statement on Friday, in which he said: “Football has given me everything.
“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.
“I’ve always said that there would not be any other team after Barca and that’s how it will be.
“I will become a regular fan. I will support the team.
“I will pass my love for Barcelona to my children. And you know me – sooner or later, I’ll be back.”
Pique retires with an incredible haul of winners’ medals to his name – which includes World Cup and European Championship gongs with Spain.
The defender won La Liga eight times with his boyhood club and lifted the Champions League trophy three times.
He also won the Copa del Rey seven times during his 15 seasons at Nou Camp.
Additionally, he also claimed Premier League and Champions League winners medals during his four-year stint with Manchester United.
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