'What a career. What a player': Gary Lineker leads social media tributes to Gerard Pique after legendary defender produced a vintage display in an emotional final appearance at the Camp Nou as Barcelona defeated Almeria

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'What a career. What a player': Gary Lineker leads social media tributes to Gerard Pique after legendary defender produced a vintage display in an emotional final appearance at the Camp Nou as Barcelona defeated Almeria

  • Gary Lineker hailed Gerard Pique following the defender's final home game
  • Pique produced a vintage performance as Barca won 2-0 at the Camp Nou
  • Fans on social media shared their tributes to the legendary defender online 

Gary Lineker heaped praise on Gerard Pique as the legendary defender received an outpouring of tributes on social media after making his final appearance at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

With more than a year remaining on his contract at the Catalan club, Pique shocked the football world earlier this week when he announced that was going to call time on his career in the sport.

As a result, Saturday's game between Barcelona and Almeria marked the final time that the 35-year-old would get the opportunity to walk out in front of the adoring fans of the club that he has supported since birth.

Gerard Pique produced a vintage display in his final Camp Nou appearance for Barcelona

Gerard Pique produced a vintage display in his final Camp Nou appearance for Barcelona

Gerard Pique produced a vintage display in his final Camp Nou appearance for Barcelona

The legendary defender announced earlier this week that he would be calling time on his career

The legendary defender announced earlier this week that he would be calling time on his career

Gary Lineker led the tributes on social media for the World Cup-winner after the game

Gary Lineker led the tributes on social media for the World Cup-winner after the game

With the home side enjoying a comfortable 2-0 lead, former teammate Xavi substituted Pique to allow him to receive the kind of ovation that his time at the club warranted, in front of 92,605 supporters.

Following the game, former Barcelona striker Lineker paid tribute to the Catalan star's career: 'A winning finale for the great @3gerardpique. Hard to imagine a team without him. What a career. What a player.'

@PPMBARCA also highlighted the difficulty in envisaging a future Barcelona team without Pique: 'Looking at the Barça team sheet and not seeing Pique's name is gonna be a bitter pill swallow. For as long as I've been a Barça fan Pique's been a fixture in this team. He's won everything at this club and been there in our lows. I wish him the best in his retirement. Legend'

Another social media user highlighted Pique's renowned skill on the ball: 'Gerard Piqué was so good on the ball they nicknamed him ‘Piquenbauer’. Arguably the best ball-playing defender of my generation. He even gave a demonstration of how good he still is on the ball in his very last match tonight — lovely ending to an unforgettable fairytale.'

@NealGardner wrote: 'Gerard Pique would still be a starter for the vast majority of European sides, but he’s always said that he’ll retire here - and he’s stuck by his word. A Barça fan - though and through, and I’m so grateful that he represented my club. Farewell, legend.'

A further fan added: 'Man Pique is a LEGEND!!! He was around for all those glory years'

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