Gerard Pique has made his intentions public that he does not wish to play for another club aside Barcelona.
The 30-year-old centre-back signed a new deal with the Catalan club and plans to remain there until the end of his playing days
The former Manchester United player says he did not consider leaving Barcelona before signing his new contract, insisting it is the Camp Nou club “or nothing” for him.
The centre-back committed a new deal this month that will see him tied to Barca until 2022, when he will be 35, and he has every intention of retiring at the club.
“I always had the feeling I was going to stay and I never considered another option. I hope to stay for life,” he said at a press conference.
“Obviously I thought about my family and my kids, who don’t want to move. I hope to keep being competitive until I retire, and I hope that’s here. It’s Barca or nothing.”
Despite enjoying a superb season for the LaLiga leaders, Pique says he still plans to call time on his international career after the World Cup in Russia.
“The most logical thing is to leave after the World Cup,” he said. “There are stages in life in which you have to bring things to a close because of motivation.
“The national team has given me a lot but it’s the normal thing to leave the national team when the World Cup ends.”
The 30-year-old was caught up in another controversy recently when he caused a row with local rivals Espanyol following their Copa del Rey quarter-final win.
Speaking after the 2-0 second-leg victory last Thursday, which ensured a 2-1 aggregate triumph, Pique referred to Barca’s neighbours as “Espanyol de Cornella”, implying they should no longer be considered a Barcelona club since their move to the Catalan municipality of Cornella de Llobregat.
Espanyol asked the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to investigate the remarks, accusing Pique of using “a clearly derogatory tone”, but the centre-back is not taking his words back.
“I don’t regret it and I don’t think I’ll talk about this topic,” he said. “I’m here for the career I’ve had at Barca and I want to enjoy it.
“I’m going to play on Saturday or Sunday and I’ll give you headlines in the mixed zone, if you like.”
Pique went on to use the example of basketball side Juventud de Badalona to support his comments, adding: “Juventud played this weekend at the Palau [the arena in Badalona]. They are Juventud de Badalona. Espanyol are from Cornella, that’s a no-brainer.”
The Spain international is no stranger to controversy, but he believes he has mellowed somewhat this season when it comes to antagonising fierce rivals Real Madrid.
“You will not see a word against Madrid, nor have I spoken about Madrid this season,” he said. “Sometimes you’re more involved in controversy and at other times you’re disconnected. I don’t know. We’ll see.
“To analyse it well, you’d have to be in both places. When things go well here, they’re not going well there. We’re going to enjoy it until the end of the season and we’ll see if we can win titles.”