BARCELONA – FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said on Monday he would have likely retired had he been unable to reach a renewal agreement with the Catalan club.
The 30-year-old Spaniard signed his contract extension with the Barça squad until 2022 with a 500 million euro ($621.34 million) buyout clause.
“I can only see myself in a Barça shirt,” he said.
“If I had not extended my contract then I would have stopped playing, because I only play football because I play for Barça,” he said, according to Barcelona’s official website.
After renewing with Barcelona on the verge of turning 31, Piqué made it clear that Barça will be his only priority from now on, and has reiterated his intention to leave the Spain national team after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The defender stressed that Barcelona is his “home” and he wished to end his career at the Catalan club.
Pique first joined Barcelona FC at only ten years old and spent most of his career there, except for brief stints playing for Manchester United and Zaragoza before returning to the Catalan cub in 2008, with which he has played over 420 matches.
Following his return to Barcelona, Pique became one of the team’s mainstays, first with Pep Guardiola and then with later coaches who continued to rely on him.
“It’s a special day. Gerard Pique is an experienced player, a Barça fan from birth and let’s hope we can continue to keep winning trophies,” said Barcelona’s president, Josep Maria.
Pique has won all possible trophies with the Blaugrana: three Champions League titles, six La Liga titles, five Copa del Rey titles, five Spanish Super Cups, three European Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups.