SOCCER

Piqué gifts Joaquín his shirt with special dedication

Barcelona didn't have the best of days against Betis, but Gerard Piqué put his disappointment aside to to make a thoughtful gesture to one of the opponents.

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Piqué gifts Joaquín his shirt with special dedication

Any hopes that Barcelona might have had about winning this season's LaLiga faded with Saturday's 0-1 defeat to Betis. It was Xavi's first defeat as Barça coach, at home, and after Real Madrid won away at Real Sociedad, the team is now 16 points points behind the leaders - even at this stage of the campaign, that is too big a distance to make up.

Piqué hails 'genius' Joaquín

Despite the disappointment of losing to Betis at Camp Nou, Gerard Piqué made the most of the Verdiblancos' visit to show his admiration for one of the rivals - his old team mate with the national side Joaquín. The Betis legend, who turned 40 a few months ago, didn't get to play in yesterday's match but took home a special gift. 

Piqué's signed shirt gift for Joaquín

Both Piqué and Joaquín were recent guests on television programme El Hormiguero. The midfielder was asked about when he sees himself retiring from the game. He replied, "It's difficult. When you get to 40, it's not a question of choosing a moment, now I hardly get a game".

Piqué, who was asked the same question by host Pablo Motos when he was on the show last week, was keen to ensure Joaquín had a special memento to take away from Camp Nou and gifted him his shirt, personally signed with the dedication: "For my friend Joaquín, you're a f**king genius. Congratulations for your career".