Shakira and Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique announce they have separated

The pair asked for privacy after confirming their separation in a joint statement

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Shakira and Gerard Pique have announced they are separating after an 11-year relationship.

The Colombian pop superstar, 45, and the professional Spanish footballer, 35, have two sons together – seven-year-old Sasha, and nine-year-old Mila.

A joint statement issued by Shakira and Pique said: “We regret to confirm that we are separating.

“We ask for privacy at this moment for the wellbeing of our children, who are our maximum priority.

“Thank you in advance for your understanding and respect.”

Shakira and Pique in happier times
Shakira and Pique in happier times
Shakira attends the Elvis premiere during during the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France
Shakira attends the Elvis premiere during during the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France

The pair’s relationship dates back to 2011 after they reportedly met when the singer performed the official song of the 2010 World Cup, Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), where Pique represented Spain.

Pique plays for Barcelona and has enjoyed great success with the national Spanish team, winning the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship two years later.

The Hips Don’t Lie singer told the PA news agency last month at the Ivor Novello Awards that her newly released single, titled Te Felicito, was a “family project” as her children came up with the storyline for the music video.

She also revealed that she has finished a new album which has a dance and reggaeton feel to it.