Gerard Pique could already consider return to playing

Gerard Pique only retired in November
Gerard Pique only retired in November / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Barcelona legend Gerard Pique has already been tipped to reconsider his recent retirement, despite only hanging up his boots in November.

Pique is behind the Kings League, a 7-a-side competition that features a handful of current and former professionals alongside amateur players who signed up during the public registration period, with Sergio Aguero and Iker Casillas among those involved as team presidents.

But rather than become one of the ‘ringers’ involved on each team in the Kings League, Pique could make a return to the 11-a-side professional game.

The rumoured destination: FC Andorra.

If that name sounds familiar, it is because it is. They are the club that Pique himself took ownership of through his holding company in December 2018.

Andorra were a fifth tier club in Spain’s football pyramid at the time. But they secured promotion to the fourth tier, then known as the Tercera Division, at the end of the 2018/19 season. Within a few weeks, an opportunity to skip straight to Segunda Division B (tier three) was secured, paying a fee of almost €500,000 to replace another club sanctioned over failing to pay its players.

In May 2022, Andorra reached the Segunda Division for the first time in their 80-year history.

The club is holding its own in the middle of the table 21 games into this season, with Relevo reporting that Pique could dust off his boots to join the playing ranks.

One major hurdle would be the finances of it. Pique’s salary at Barcelona this season was a reported €20m for the year. Despite his retirement, he is said to still be registered with his former club, which would further complicate things because of salary rules in Spanish football as Andorra couldn’t simply pay him the league’s minimum wage, for example. He wouldn’t be playing to get paid, but the regulations and red tape designed to protect players could make it difficult to arrange.

A proposed contract for Pique at Andorra would have to be reviewed by La Liga’s Evaluation Committee to determine what he is valued at. Potentially the only way Andorra, whose salary cap is a shade over €6.5m, could do it is by raising income through new sponsorship or other means.