Fans say Cristiano Ronaldo made ‘scared’ Pique retire before Man Utd reunion

Fans reckon Cristiano Ronaldo made "scared" Gerard Pique retire from football before facing him in a Manchester United reunion.

The Red Devils were drawn against Barcelona in the Europa League play-off round on Monday morning and will meet across two legs in February for a place in the round of 16. However, Pique will not feature in the tie after he played his final match as a professional footballer on Saturday after announcing his decision to retire at the age of 35.

The Spanish defender previously spent four years with United between 2004 and 2008, making 23 first team appearances during that period.

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His decision to retire means that he will avoid a reunion with his former club and Ronaldo, who has tormented Pique in the past during his time at Real Madrid.

Fans were quick to pick up on their past meetings on social media, with one tweeting: "Pique retired because he didnt want to be humiliated by CR7 again."

Another added: "Pique retired on time! Knew Ronaldo was coming for him #MUFC #FCB #UEL." A third also wrote: "Pique actually retired so as not to face Ronaldo again."

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One more fan joked: "Pique was scared of facing Ronaldo so he decided to retire….Very Clever from him though." Another then added: "Now I know why Pique hung his boots. Enough of torments from Cristiano Ronaldo. Man new it was coming."

Pique and Ronaldo have played against each other 33 times for club and country, with their first meeting coming in the Champions League final back in 2009, which Barcelona won 2-0.

Across those meetings, Ronaldo has scored 18 goals, but Pique has come out on top more often, winning 17 and losing eight of his fixtures against teams featuring the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Prior to Pique's departure from United in 2008, he and Ronaldo played alongside each other 15 times and were part of a squad which won the Premier League and Champions League the same year the Spaniard left Old Trafford.

Pique's retirement comes after he made just 10 appearances across all competitions this season, with his final match on Saturday against Almeria being his first start in the league since October 9.

In his absence, Barca will host United at the Nou Camp on February 16 before travelling to England for the second leg a week later. It is the clubs' first meeting since the Spanish giants won 4-0 on aggregate in the Champions League last eight in 2019.


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