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Gerard Pique: Sporting retirement parties that didn't go to plan

After Gerard Pique was shown a red card in his final game for Barcelona, we take a look back on some sporting swansongs which ended on a sour note.

Brian Clough, Sir Donald Bradman and Roger Federer also feature as all-time greats who have not bowed out as they might have wanted to.

Pique sees red in Barca farewell

In a remarkable if underwhelming end to his Barcelona career, Gerard Pique was shown a red card while on the bench for his final game against Osasuna. 

Clearly unhappy with the decision to give striker Robert Lewandowski a second yellow card in the first half, Pique remonstrated with the referee before the substitute was shown a red card at half-time of the 2-1 La Liga victory.

And so ended an illustrious football career for Pique, who managed to win eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues with Barca, while also winning a European Championship and a World Cup with Spain.

Sorry end for Clough in final Forest game

Regarded as one of the greatest manager’s England has ever produced, Brian Clough’s time with his beloved Nottingham Forest also ended in disappointment.

In the first season of the newly-formed Premier League, Forest were hoping to secure survival and continue playing against the top teams in England.

However, the campaign was to end in bitter disappointment, as on 1st May 1993 Forest suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United to be condemned to relegation.

Forest did have one final game after the loss on home soil, with the Reds suffering a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town in Clough’s last game in football management.

A sad end for Clough, who had brought such joy to Forest fans by leading the club to a First Division title and two European Cups in the late 1970s.

Bradman's 100 dreams dashed

One of the greatest batters cricket has ever known, Sir Donald Bradman headed out for his final innings in Australia's last Ashes Test in England in 1948.

Needing just four runs to record a remarkable career average of 100 in Test cricket, Bradman walked out to the middle looking to finish his international career on a high.

However, his innings was to be short-lived as he was bowled by leg-spinner Eric Hollies for a duck from his second ball faced.

Australia did go on to win the Test convincingly by an innings and 149 runs, but Bradman’s duck made the headlines as he finished his career with 6,996 runs at an average of 99.94.

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Heartbreak for Bolt in final race

One of the most iconic sportsmen of all time, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was the most famous athlete on the planet.

Thousands of fans gathered at the London Stadium for the World Championships in 2017, waiting for Bolt to do his thing in the 4x100 metres relay final.

While the home crowd would have been delighted to see Great Britain pull off a superb performance to win the gold, they will have also been shocked to see Bolt pull up in the final leg.

After a sloppy change of the baton, Bolt looked like he was getting up to full speed to make for a thrilling race to the line.

However, Bolt abruptly pulled up with a cramp in his left hamstring and was left lying on the track as GB claimed the gold.

Not the way the great man would have wanted to go out, but Bolt can still look back on his career with great pride, as the 11-time world champion took athletics to a completely new level.

Federer bids farewell after Laver Cup loss

Hoping to end his illustrious career on a high, tennis legend Roger Federer had an emotional night as he and Rafael Nadal suffered defeat at the Laver Cup this year.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion joined forces with rival Nadal to take on the American pair Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the annual team event.

Federer had not played competitive tennis for over a year at this stage but the Swiss star and Nadal pushed the American pair hard.

The match was to end with a 4-6 7-6 11-9 victory for Sock and Tiafoe as Federer’s last match before retirement ended in defeat.

A fantastic crowd at the O2 Arena in London still gave Federer the warm and jubilant send-off he deserved as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.

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