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Gerard Pique names his long-term replacement at Barcelona

Gerard Pique, FC Barcelona
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The FC Barcelona center-back is in the twilight phase of his career and will be out of contract in June 2024.

Gerard Pique has tipped Ronald Araujo as his long-term successor at Barcelona and reiterated plans to end his career at Camp Nou.

The center-back, a product of the club’s famed La Masia academy, has been an integral part of Barcelona’s success since his return from Manchester United in 2008 to help the club lift a remarkable 29 trophies.

But a long-term knee injury, along with his 34th birthday earlier in the week, serves as a reminder that the clock is ticking on Pique’s career. In 21-year-old Araujo, however, lies a potential successor.

“Araujo is a great center-back and will be for 10 or 15 years,” Pique told streamer Ibai Llanos. “He has everything. He is very young and has a very good head. Also, he is physically strong, fast, and powerful, and has good ball control.

“La Masia is working very well and during his time in Segunda B with the youth team he matured, and now with the first team he has taken the opportunity. We need to help him to be the best player possible.”

While his knee injury has kept him sidelined since November, Pique is back in training and remains keen to remain at Camp Nou for the rest of his career.

“I will retire at Barca. I’ve always said that,” added the 34-year-old. “I play football because I’m representing Barca. I don’t see myself on another team. I wouldn’t have the motivation, it would be a drama.”