Xavi has heaped praise on Gerard Pique as he prepares to make his final appearance at Camp Nou as a player.

Pique has announced his imminent retirement from Barcelona, bringing an end to a tumultuous few months which have been full of reports of the Blaugrana's desire to move on from their highest earner.

The legendary 35-year-old has been Barcelona's fifth choice centre-back this season, even falling behind left-back Marcos Alonso in the pecking order, and he has now decided to hang up his boots before the World Cup break.

"He deserves all the praise from Barcelona fans," Xavi told a press conference. "The career that he has had...

"He's decided to put an end to his career. I understand the circumstances. He feels less important, less useful, and so it's normal to take this step aside. He demonstrates spectacular greatness by stepping to the side. He deserves all the praise and that Barcelona fans honour him for what he is, a club legend.