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Gerard Pique retiring is set to save Barcelona £44MILLION with boss Xavi hailing it a ‘gesture of spectacular greatness’

BARCELONA boss Xavi hailed Gerard Pique ‘gesture of spectacular greatness’ as the legend gave up £44million by retiring mid-contract.

Centre-back Pique, 35, played 615 games in 14 years with Barca but is now mainly on the bench since Xavi told him in the summer he’d only be a bit-part player for the cash-strapped giants.

Gerard Pique has been praised for his incredible generosity as he forsake a huge sum from his contract to retire after 14 glorious years at the Nou Camp
Barcelona manager Xavi saluted Pique’s gesture and revealed how difficult it was to tell the icon he wouldn’t be a regular this season

But rather than see out his deal until 2024, the 102-cap Spaniard has opted to bow out at home to Almeria in LaLiga this Saturday.

Marca calculate the ex-Manchester United youngster has saved Barcelona around £44m in wages as they struggle with debts and Financial Fair Play.

Former team-mate Xavi said: “Pique is a player who still has a contract and who could have continued at the club, so his gesture shows spectacular greatness.

“We had a private conversation at the beginning of the summer. 

“I had to explain my intentions to him and it was one of the most difficult moments I’ve had to do as a coach.

“We heard about Pique’s decision this week. Surely I have had an important weight in making this decision, but the truth is that I have to make decisions and in many situations someone else played over Pique.

“For me it is not a relief that he is leaving now. It is a personal decision for him, due to the circumstances and due to the conversation we had in the summer.”

Former midfield genius Xavi, 42, reluctant to elaborate on his awkward pre-season chat with Pique.


But he said: “I’ve tried to be honest with Pique… the footballer always feels when you don’t play him, the coach is to be blamed.

“That’s why I say that sometimes the job of a coach is unpleasant because you have to make difficult decisions. The conversation we had is private.” 

Pique won 30 trophies with his boyhood and hometown club Barca, including three Champions League successes and eight LaLiga crowns.

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