Pique "suffering" after split from Shakira and reports of ‘open relationship’

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that Gerard Pique is 'suffering' in the aftermath of his split from wife Shakira, but has given his full backing to the defender.

Pique and the Colombian singer announced they would be separating last month, having spent 11 years together. Reports in Spain placed the blame for the split at Pique's door, with claims that he had strayed from the pop star.

But neither Pique nor Shakira have addressed those allegations, with new reports that they had been in an 'open relationship'. With pre-season set to begin shortly for Barca and Pique, Laporta has now given an insight into the defender's mindset as he gave the Spaniard his full backing.

"Pique is suffering. As much as we imagine, we have in our imagination players with fame, money and everything we like, but they are people and Pique is a great person. He is one of the captains, he is lucky, and he has given a lot and he has to give us a lot," Laporta said.

"And he has gone through a circumstance that is not pleasant at all, with children at a very young age and Pique deserves the esteem and affection of the fans. Do not pay attention to the news that tries to leave him as a frivolous man, without feelings and that everything slips away from him.

"I am lucky to know him and to have treated him as a person. It is a extraordinary person who is suffering. And we have to help him. I will be the first to give him the love he deserves."

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Laporta's insistence of Pique's suffering came amid reports that he had been in an open relationship with Shakira. If those reports are accurate, it means that infidelity may not have been the reason for the separation.

"Their agreement was 'you do what you want and I'll do what I want', but to present themselves as a couple to the public. Someone very, very close to Pique has assured me that there was no infidelity on his part," Antonio Aviles told 'Viva la Vida'.

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