'I was born here and I will die here' - Emotional Pique promises Barca fans he will be back despite retirement

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Gerard Pique insisted it is "not farewell" after playing his final game for Barcelona at Camp Nou before retirement.

Pique was substituted to a standing ovation in the 84th minute of Barca's 2-0 win against Almeria on Saturday after second-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Frenkie de Jong had set the Blaugrana on their way to an 11th win in their last 12 LaLiga games.

The 35-year-old announced the imminent end to his playing career earlier in the week, with the club agreeing to mutually terminate his contract prior to the start of the World Cup in Qatar later this month.

It is not yet clear whether Pique will play any part in Barca's final game before then, away to Osasuna on Tuesday, but it seems unlikely given his emotional departure against Almeria in which he hugged each of his team-mates.

Addressing the fans after the game with a microphone in hand, a tearful Pique said: "To want is to let go. There is so much love and passion between Barca and me.

"It was time to leave... [but] I am convinced that in the future I'll be here again. I already left and came back.

"This is not a farewell. I have been a member since I was born here, and I will die here."

The Barca players adorned special shirts before the game with "Sempr3" emblazoned on the front and Pique's name and number on the back, with the word 'sempre' meaning 'always' in Spanish, and Pique's number three replacing the 'e'.

Sergio Busquets also paid tribute to his team-mate with whom he has played at Barca since 2008 after the game, saying: "He leaves and incredible legacy. Playing for Barcelona means more to him than it does to anyone and we are going to miss him."