Pique bids farewell to Camp Nou with dominant Barcelona win

BARCELONA: Barcelona legend Gerard Pique bid an emotional farewell in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Camp Nou on Sunday following a dominant 2-0 win by Catalans over Almeria which took them two points clear of Real Madrid at the top LaLiga  

Pique received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was substituted in the 84th minute and broke into tears as he fervently hugged his teammates, coach Xavi and the entire Barca bench.

After the final whistle, he was lifted into the air by his companions and performed a lap of honour, blowing kisses to the crowd and waving as they chanted his name.

The 35-year-old defender broke into tears midway through his farewell speech after the game, saying:  “I was born here and I will die here.”

“Sometimes you have to leave behind the things you love. The relationship between Barcelona and me has been so loving and so passionate, I thought that maybe we needed a little bit of space. I’m sure that I’ll be back here again in the future” he said.

The retiring player was paid several tributes on his farewell night in the home game as he was named captain of the team and entered the pitch with his two sons.

Pique called time on his stellar career after appearing in 616 games across 15 seasons and won 30 trophies for the Catalan giants

Barcelona were awarded an early penalty and the fans started to chant his name to take it but the Spaniard offered it to Robert Lewandowski, who missed the opportunity and hit the post.

Meanwhile, in another matchday 13 fixture on Saturday, Osasuna held off home team Celta Vigo 2-1 with a brilliant first-half brace from Ezequiel Lavezzi.

At Estadio Jose Zorrilla, home team Valladolid edged past bottom-placed Elche 2-1 thanks to the brilliant strikes by Javi Sanchez and Roque Mesa.

The action-filled matches of LaLiga 2022-23 are being telecasted live on Pakistan’s first HD Sports channel – A Sports and is simultaneously streamed on the digital platform of ARY Digital Network – ARY ZAP in crystal clear HD quality.

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