Gerard Pique Says He Will Retire at Barcelona: 'My Intention Is to Get to 2022'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona during the prematch warm up prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona  and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on November 09, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Gerard Pique has said he will not wear any other shirt than Barcelona's and hopes to continue playing until 2022. 

The centre-back is a graduate of Barca's famed La Masia academy and has been a Barca stalwart since he returned to the club from Manchester United in 2008.

Now 32, Pique is in the latter stages of his illustrious career.

The Spaniard has said his aim is to keep going until the end of his contract in 2022, and he made it clear once he stops playing for Barca, he will stop playing football, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Goal's Matt Dorman):

"I have always said my last team will be Barca. I have absolutely no intention of wearing any other shirt because ... I have been a 'Cule' all my life. For me, being at Barca is the biggest dream of all.

"My intention is to get to 2022, but I don't have a crystal ball, and I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it. If I see that I lose importance or see that I am not at the [required] level, I have no problem leaving earlier. I don't think it will happen because I know myself and I am able to endure until 2022, but you never know."

Pique remains a key part of Ernesto Valverde's first team at the Camp Nou. In 2019-20, he has started 11 of Barca's 12 La Liga games, playing 990 minutes.

Only goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has played more for Barca than Pique this term in the Spanish top flight.

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When he does decide to hang up his boots then, it will be a big loss for the Blaugrana, although the Catalans have some fine defensive prospects on their books:

Barca have lost a number of homegrown legends in recent seasons. Xavi left to join Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015, and Andres Iniesta moved to Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe last year.

It is clear that Pique does not plan to play out his career away from Barcelona like the Spanish midfield duo.

Instead, he looks set to follow in the footsteps of Carles Puyol, who retired in 2014 after playing his entire senior career at Barca.