BarcelonaWith a firmament of lanterns, the Camp Nou has dismissed Gerard Piqué. The captain culer has put on the armband of the flag for the last time to say goodbye to a stadium that has surrendered at his feet. The culer temple has called his name in the sky, it has crowned him as the football legend he has become. Piqué will be eternal and will be perennial in the eyes of fans and the whole football world. His figure, as controversial as it is essential, is forever linked to colors that have seen him grow and become one of the best central players in history. The grandson of Amador Bernabéu has ended up on the grass, with his children, kicking at the goal.
“In life, when you get older, you realize that sometimes to love is to let go,” said the captain before bursting into tears on the grass when the Almeria game was over. “When there is a relationship of so much love and so much passion as the one between Barça and me… I think it was time to leave us some space and some air. I am convinced that in in the future I will be here again. This is not a farewell. Many of you already know, my grandfather made me a member the day I was born. I was born here and I will die here. Long live Barça, always!”, he said before ‘to enter the dressing room tunnel for the last time as a Barça player surrounded by friends like Riqui Puig and family members.
Club and fans, conspired to make the central midfielder’s farewell memorable, have dressed up to celebrate the career of a Barça emblem. Despite being the center of attention, Piqué has kept a low profile. Aware that it was his moment, he has put aside the eccentricities that have characterized him at certain times and has wanted to live the moment with his people. Accompanied by his two sons, Sasha and Milan, the centre-back has arrived at the Camp Nou and walked down the corridor to the dressing room for the last time. In fact, the two little ones have accompanied him during all the preambles to his farewell at the Camp Nou. In the dressing room tunnel, moments before the stadium declared its love for him with applause and chants, Piqué only hugged his children, oblivious to the party that was about to begin. “Oh, papa!”, Sasha, the youngest of the two, said to him, trying to unwrap his father with such an everyday and at the same time innocent gesture. While the Camp Nou only had eyes for its captain, Piqué only wanted to share this moment with his own.
Family farewell, on and off the lawn
They have all jumped onto the field together, dressed in their father’s shirt to accompany him in his last tenure dressed in shorts with the Barça crest. A shirt that also had a significant detail. In the center and at the height of the heart was written the motto of the captain’s farewell: “Sempr3”. In the place reserved on the shirt for special moments, Piqué has also left his mark.
Once on the green, Piqué enjoyed it like the first day he made his debut in the Blaugrana shirt. Turning around the field as if it were the garden of his house, the center has once again brought out his soul as a striker to the delirium of the 92,605 spectators who did not want to miss his farewell. “Pique, piquenbauer!”, shouted the stands again and again. The date is one of those that are marked on the calendar, that remain in the memory for a lifetime. “I was there”, will be able to say the thousands of culers who they rounded off one of the most special nights for Gerard Piqué.
The night had many special, unique moments, but in the 83rd minute the foundations of the Camp Nou shook as rarely. The time had come. With goosebumps, the stadium erupted in deafening applause as the public address announced that Christensen was coming on to replace Pique on the pitch. One by one, the captain hugged his teammates, unable to hold back his tears. The Barça legend, cooler than the flagpole, made his way to the bench, returning the applause to the stands, fully committed. He has tried to retain the moment, to stay on the grass walking with very short steps. He didn’t want to get to the lime line, where he knew he wouldn’t come out again. With resignation and sadness, the captain sat on the Camp Nou bench for the last time while the stadium still chanted his name.
When the referee signaled the end of the game, it was time for Piqué to say goodbye to his fans. After being buttered by the entire squad, the Barcelona legend made his last lap of honor on the pitch enjoying every second, every step and every applause. Trying to retain in his memory the feelings experienced, remembering old memories, triumphs and sufferings, he has not been able to keep his emotions at bay. Nor was it necessary, in fact. A legend does not say goodbye to his people every day and the communion that has been created between fans, team and player has flooded the stadium with a magical aura. With all the lights on, Piqué has walked through the Blaugrana sky.
Gerard Piqué leaves the Camp Nou, but does not close the door when leaving. He just adjusts it, and Barça, with the farewell still hot, is already waiting for his return.