Davis Cup, Shakira, Supercup … The setbacks and controversies are linked for Gerard Piqué

Between the loss of the organization of the Davis Cup for his company Kosmos and the attacks of his ex Shakira, Gerard Piqué is going through a bad patch.

There are those who disconnect completely once the crampons have been put away. And then there is Gerard Pique. The (surprise) announcement of his retirement in November did not really change his rhythm of life. He simply has more time to develop his many businesses. With more or less success. His last disappointment dates from this week. Less than five years after signing its deal with Kosmos, a company founded in 2017 by the former Barça captain with an executive from Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided to put an end to and regain control of the organization of the Davis Cup from the 2023 edition. After having ratified a change in the formula of the competition in August 2018, the ITF had entrusted for 3 billion dollars and a duration of 25 years the organization of the event to the investment group Kosmos, chaired by Pique. In the end, the partnership fell through, failing to find a financial agreement.

A disavowal on the Davis Cup

A big blow for Pique, who had been accused of distorting the Davis Cup by revisiting the format of a real institution. With him, matches in five sets and duels between nations in heated atmospheres, with four rounds spanning from February to December, had been replaced by different formats that were not very convincing. Which had cooled both players and purists. Pique had however boasted when recovering the rights for the organization of the Davis Cup to want to make it a “Tennis World Cup” and a huge popular success. Missed. It’s not the first time the Catalan has missed out on the business world. Raised in a privileged environment by a lawyer father and a surgeon mother, he quickly developed an entrepreneurial spirit. By multiplying activities alongside his playing career. From video games to catering and events. In 2012, for example, he created Kerad Games, a company that designs and distributes online games. The following year, he became the owner of a restaurant specializing… in gourmet hamburgers, which closed its doors after less than two years of existence.

Another establishment opened with his former companion Shakira will close in 2020 due to the pandemic. Jack-of-all-trades and hyperactive, Piqué launches himself pell-mell into NFTs, real estate, investment funds, the production of documentaries or even large-scale projects around e-sport with the streamer and Spanish commentator-star Ibai Llanos. The latter accompanied him in one of his latest fads: the Kings League, a tournament that revisits the rules of football by mixing water polo, handball, ice hockey and tennis. The matches are offered on Twitch and have been a hit since January 1st. But Pique has also been talked about for other reasons at the start of the year. Shakira clashed it in her own way in a song written with an Argentinian producer. The Colombian star attacks the father of his two children but also his new girlfriend, the Spanish Clara Chia.

In the sights of Spanish justice

“A lot of gym, but also work your brain a little”, “You changed a Ferrari for a Twingo”, “A Rolex for a Casio”, “I will not come back to you, even if you cry or beg me” , “I outdid you and that’s why you’re with someone like you,” she sings through her sharp rhymes. Pique and Shakira announced their separation in June after more than a decade together. At the same time, the former Manchester United player must also deal with problems with the Spanish justice system. This summer, an investigation was opened targeting both Pique and Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, after the controversy over the awarding of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia. According to the media El Confidencial, which had access to documents and private audio messages between Piqué and the boss of the RFEF, the Spanish Federation receives 40 million euros per season for each of the six editions organized in Saudi Arabia since 2020 ( or 240 million euros in total), while Kosmos receives 4 million euros per season, or 24 million euros in total.

A commission assumed by the former defender, who decided to counter-attack on the judicial level. Pique has had run-ins with the Spanish courts in the past. In 2019, he was ordered to reimburse 2.1 million euros to the tax authorities for fraud on his image rights before seeing this conviction finally canceled at the end of 2021. The litigation dates back to 2016, when an administrative court sentenced Pique , judging that he had “simulated” the transfer of his image rights to his company Kerad Project in order to pay less tax.

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