The former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique has shocked the world by announcing his decision to emigrate to Eritrea and take charge of the national football team. Pique, who retired from playing in 2022, said he was looking for a new challenge and a fresh start after his divorce from the Colombian singer Shakira.
“I have always been fascinated by Eritrea and its people. They have a rich and diverse heritage, and they love football as much as I do. I want to share my knowledge and skills with them and help them grow in the sport,” Pique said in a press conference.
Pique, who was married to Shakira for 10 years, admitted that he cheated on her with an Eritrean woman, whom he met during a charity trip to the African country. He said he fell in love with her and decided to end his marriage and move to Eritrea with her.
Pique’s appointment as the Eritrean coach has been met with mixed reactions by the country’s football federation, which hopes that his expertise and fame will improve the team’s performance and popularity. Eritrea, which ranks 206th in the FIFA world ranking, has never qualified for the World Cup or the African Cup of Nations.