Colombian pop star Shakira and former soccer player Gerard Piqué have finally reached a custody agreement to avoid dragging their personal business out in the public sphere any longer. The couple have famously been very private about their personal lives, and they wouldn’t want that to change now that they’ve parted ways.
After 12 years and two kids, Shakira and Gerard have been through a lot. From the issue around their age gap to their toxic relationship rules, here are all the little-known details and intriguing facts about their unconventional partnership. It just may help in understanding the reasons behind their break up.
Tying the Knot Just Wasn’t An Option
The question of when Shakira and her longtime partner would get married had been lingering in the minds of their fans for over a decade. However, in an interview with Glamour magazine, Shakira made it clear that they were content with their relationship as it was and were not planning to tie the knot anytime soon. She stated that their love and union were already strong, and that marriage would not alter this.
She explained in 2014, a year after welcoming their daughter to the world, “We have a union, a love for each other. I think that those aspects of our relationship are already established, and marriage is not going to change them.” She clarified that he would be the one to marry, if she ever changed her mind, adding, ”But if I’m ever going to get married, he’s the one.”
Meeting on the Set of Her Music Video
Gerard recalled that his first encounter with Shakira was on the set of her 2010 FIFA World Cup music video, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).” He had a brief cameo in the video, but it was enough to grab her attention despite being just one of a number of footballers to feature. In fact, you can only see him in the frame for about a second, but it’s what happened away from the cameras that really mattered.
Gerard asked for her number and the rest, as they say, is history. “First time I met Shakira was in Madrid when we filmed the video for Waka Waka before the 2010 World Cup and I asked for her number,” he said. “She arrived in South Africa before us (Spain NT) because she was singing at the opening ceremony.”
She Told Gerard How Many Kids She Wants In a Song
Shakira wrote and recorded a Spanish-language song called “Me Enamoré (I Fell in Love),” back in 2017, in which she detailed her love story with the Spanish professional footballer. In this ballad, she made her future intentions with Gerard clear – she saw them building a life together and having a large family.
In one part of the song, Shakira sings: “With you I would have ten children/Let’s start with a couple.” Although it appears they ended up with just two children, Milan and Sasha, Shakira’s romantic song is still a favorite among fans, and indicative of just how much she wanted to make their relationship work. As we’ll later to come to find out, Shakira did actually want more than two children.
She Left Behind Her Life In the States To Live With Gerard In Barcelona
Shakira and Gerard’s relationship soon became serious, which led them to wonder about what they were going to do about the fact that they lived in different countries. In the end, Shakira chose to make the big move to Europe in order to be closer to him, but it wasn’t an easy decision. After all, she had a thriving career back in the states.
Shakira expressed her difficulty in finding a balance between her career and relationship when she spoke to The Sun in 2014, saying, “I have to live in Barcelona because Gerard is anchored here. Footballers are like soldiers, he can’t really travel and go away with me. I’m trying to work out how I’m going to do my next tour.” Time would come to tell that this might not have been the best decision on her part.
Packing on the PDAs At Every Opportunity
If there’s one thing that Shakira and Gerard were known for during their years together, it’s packing on the PDAs no matter the circumstance. Whether they were waiting in line for something in the street, at a football game, or attending a black tie event, the lovers would happily give in to public displays of affection.
The paparazzi have captured photos upon photos of the Colombian singer Spanish former footballer locking lips and embracing, even if there’s a whole crowd watching. And while some people questioned whether or not the couple was genuine, most people assumed they were just very much in love.
There Were Times When Their Age Gap Was An Issue
Shakira and Gerard seemed like a great match despite the fact that they were in an age-gap relationship. There’s a whole decade between them, as Shakira is over 10 years older than Gerard, which is something that fans felt conflicted about. That being said, they seemed to ignore the haters for the most part.
There is one lyric in the Shakira song called “Me Enamore” that seems to call her footballer beau out for being immature, as she states that Gerard is “still a child.” As we’ll come to see, later in life and after their break, Gerard would make an insensitive comment that seems to be hinting at the fact that Shakira is older than him.
Shakira Wasn’t Allowed To Shoot Provocative Videos Anymore
Shakira revealed that jealousy played a role in the relationship and held them back from certain things. In 2014 the Colombian singer spoke to Billboard magazine and stated, “It’s more than implied in our relationship that I can’t do videos like I used to.” But Shakira wasn’t unhappy with this arrangement.
She continued: “It’s out of the question — which I like, by the way.” Despite Gerard’s rules about how Shakira could conduct herself, she was given the green light when it came to a raunchy music video moment featuring Rihanna. Now that she’s no longer with Gerard, she might find herself feeling more liberated.
Likewise, Gerard Wasn’t Allowed To “Do Stuff With Models”
Shakira let it slip that Gerard limited what she could and couldn’t show. But in an interview that came later, she revealed that she herself also had some ground rules for the then-footballer. Speaking to E! News, Shakira revealed: “I have rules, too. It’s two sides, you know. He can’t do stuff with models either.”
Shakra continued: “We’re one of those asphyxiating couples, smothering each other all the time. It’s good when your man’s protective of you. He’s a defender. He defends the goal. That is his job, so he knows how to do that well.” Regardless of whether or not you agree with their relationship rules, at least it went both ways for the famous couple.
Gerard Revealed How Dull Their First Conversations Were
Arguably, Shakira and Gerard live interesting lives as accomplished stars in their respective fields. But despite having had their fair share of priceless experiences, they were awkward at messaging at the beginning of their relationship. It seems that celebrity status doesn’t guarantee a good conversation.
In 2016, Gerard revealed on the Spanish channel TV3: “I asked her what the weather was like. It’s the typical stupid question, and the normal answer is to tell me to bring a jacket. But she started telling me what the weather was, like, every minute.” It doesn’t get much more boring than talking about the weather.
Shakira’s 11-year-long Relationship Before Gerard Piqué
Shakira was 33 years old when she met Gerard, then 23. But before Gerard came into her life, she had only ever had one serious relationship, and it was with another high-profile person. The Colombian singer used to date the son of the former President of Argentina and Argentinian businessman, Antonio de la Rua, for many years.
Shakira and de la Rua were together for 11 years, making it almost on par with her relationship with Gerard. Like with her relationship with Gerard, Shakira didn’t want to tie the knot with de la Rua, telling Cosmpolitan magazine that she wanted to be his “eternal girlfriend,” reiterating, “There’s something very claustrophobic about the idea of marriage for me.”
Gerard May Have Been the Reason That Shakira and de la Rua Split
After 11 years together, Shakira and de la Rua called it quits on their relationship in January 2011. It was around this time that rumors about Shakira and Gerard secretly seeing each other first began. They had met several months before Shakira and de la Rua had officially announced their split.
Could Gerard have been the reason behind Shakira and de la Rua’s split? It’s hard to say for sure. All we know for certain is that at the time, Gerard was filmed telling the paparazzi outside Barcelona airport, “We’re just friends. There’s nothing more to it,” before going public with their relationship shortly after.
Proudly Announcing Their New Relationship To the World
These days, the public almost expects celebrities to give regular updates about their personal lives, thanks to the rise of social media. But back in 2011, it wasn’t as much of a given. In March, Shakira decided to take to her official Facebook page to announce her new relationship with Gerard to the world proudly.
She posted the dreamy holiday snap (above) along with a caption that said, “Les presento a mi sol,” which in English translates to, “I present to you my sunshine.” For all intents and purposes, Shakira and Gerard seemed to be happily in love and enjoying this honeymoon period of their relationship.
Sharing the Same Date of Birth
While Shakira and Gerard may have had an age gap of around 10 years between them, their birthday fell on the exact same day. That meant that once they started seeing each other, they would celebrate their birthdays together and just make it one big party. We imagine that made them feel all the more like their relationship was meant to be.
Born on the 2nd of February, 1977 and 1987 respectively, both Shakira and Gerard’s zodiac signs are Aquarius. But if their joint birth date wasn’t special enough, they brought home their second son Sasha from the hospital on February 2 back in 2015, 2 weeks after the singer had given birth.
Shakira Endured Vulgar Verbal Abuse From Football Fans
Many would assume that Shakira has been living the high life for years, what with a successful music career and a professional footballer beau. But the truth is, sometimes it’s been especially difficult for her to face Gerard’s fans. Not everyone who loved the footballer loved that he was dating Shakira.
On more than one occasion, Shakira found herself getting yelled at by riled-up football fans when she was watching Gerard from the sideline. It would happen during the big matches, and sometimes opposing team fans would chant and sing derogatory comments at the Colombian pop star. Because of one occasion, the hashtag “#RespectShakira” started trending on Twitter.
Shakira Reconnected To Her Faith Thanks To Gerard
Shakira was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic schools growing up, but as time went on, she started to lose that connection to her faith. Early on in her relationship with Gerard, Shakira reconnected to her Catholic roots and underwent some sort of spiritual reawakening. And she’s been closer to her faith ever since.
In 2013, Shakira told Elle magazine: “I was becoming an agnostic. And it was really hard, because I was always very religious, and for a few years, maybe because… I was not feeling the love like it was supposed to be, I started to think that there was no God. And suddenly I meet Gerard and the sun comes out.”
Shakira Had a Bone To Pick With Gerard’s Mom
You may remember this brief period in Shakira’s life when she went for the chop and cut short her long blonde locks. In 2012, she had a period where she wore her hair in a cute blonde bob, but she doesn’t remember this period of her time fondly. At least, not when it comes to feeling confident in how she looks.
In 2021 Shakira gave an interview with Vogue magazine, in which she explained that she only opted for a straight bob after taking advice from Gerard’s mom. She called it the “Worst mistake of my life,” before publicly calling out the person responsible: “Mother-in-law, I’m not taking cosmetic advice from you again.”
Trying To Split Parenting Responsibilities As Equally As Possible
Shakira and Gerard’s first child Milan was born in 2013. The couple was over the moon, and according to Shakira, tried to split their parenting responsibilities to make it as equal as possible. She spoke to US Weekly and explained, “The baby spends as much time with me as he does with his dad. He’s the kind of dad who’s full hands-on.”
Five years later, Shakira clarified how they make it work with their busy schedules. She gave an interview with Viva, in which she stated: “We don’t have a written deal to share the tasks or anything like that, but we both are very involved in parenting and try to sort it out the best we can.” After all, both parents had demanding jobs.
Gerard Wasn’t at Shakira’s Superbowl Performance and They Spent Their Birthdays Apart
Perhaps there were signs that Shakira and Gerard’s relationship started going downhill as early as 2020. In February of that same year, Shakira stole the show at the Superbowl with her live performance, where she performed alongside Jenifer Lopez. But Gerard wasn’t there to cheer her on in person, as he had his own job to attend to.
Gerard couldn’t make it to the Superbowl as he was playing against Levante UD at Barcelona’s Camp Nou. It was a great night for Gerard, too, as his team FC Barcelona defeated Levante UD and walked away victorious. It also happened to be both Shakira and Gerard’s birthday that night, too, but work came first.
Shakira and Gerard Were Put On Blast by Another Football Player
The couple came under criticism when the celebrated Argentinian football player Oscar Ruggeri publicly slammed the couple, calling Gerard nothing more than a mediocre football player who only makes headlines because of the fact that he was dating pop star Shakira. Ruggeri stated: “Piqué is average. He’s good defender, but not much else.”
There’s no doubt that the comments hurt Shakira and Gerard, but in the end they got an apology from Ruggeri. Speaking to Fox Sports he said, “I made a mistake there. I don’t know him, but the comments about his wife must have annoyed him.” Of course, Shakira wasn’t officially his wife.
Shakira Tried To Keep Things Interesting in Their Relationship
Shakira was candid with the public about the struggles of being a parent and maintaining that “spark” in a relationship. After all, part of why she didn’t want to legally tie the knot was because she wanted her partner to see her as his “eternal girlfriend,” and for the relationship not to get stale.
In 2019, she spoke to The Guardian newspaper about how hard she works to try and keep the magic alive: I love being a mother but it’s challenging to keep the balance – to not let motherhood prevent you from reading a good book, going out with your boyfriend-slash-husband, having an adult conversation.”
Shakira Asked Gerard To Give Soccer a Break While She Went on Tour
Perhaps one of the challenges that Shakira and Gerard faced as a couple came in 2018, after the soccer injured his knee during a match. According to Spanish media reports, Shakira told Gerard to take a break from soccer and encouraged him to miss some games. But perhaps she was being strategic.
Shakira was just about to jet off around the world for her El Dorado tour, so she wouldn’t be at home to take care of their kids. In the end, Gerard did choose to stay home with his boys while he was in recovery, and he missed a few matches. But the injury wasn’t all that serious and soon, he was back to playing again.
Before Gerard Came Into Her Life, Shakira Wasn’t Much of a Soccer Fan
Shakira wasn’t the type to go to a soccer match before Gerard entered her life. She did meet the sportsman on the set of her soccer-related music video, however, it was only after they started getting to know each other that she actually took an interest in the game. Now that they’re no longer dating, it’s hard to say whether or not she’ll continue to take an interest.
Shakira spoke to CBS News back in 2020, where she admitted through laughter that “I wasn’t a soccer fan so I didn’t know who he was.” That all changed when she watched the video back, though. “But when I saw the video, I was like, ‘Hmm. That one’s kind of cute.’ And then someone decided to introduce us.”
Their Family Home Was Robbed In the Middle of the Night
One of the challenges Shakira and Gerard had to face as a couple came in June 2018 when their shared family house in Barcelona was robbed. It didn’t come as much comfort that neither Shakira, Gerard, nor their children were there that night, as Gerard’s parents were sleeping there while personal items were stolen.
Shakira, Gerard, and the kids were all in Germany at the time as she was giving a performance that night. Luckily for the family, no one was seriously injured, but a lot of their personal and expensive items were taken by the thieves. These robbers were said to have been very professional, leaving no fingerprints behind.
Gerard Saw Shakira at Her Worst After She Suffered a Hemorrhage
The Colombian pop star had a hard time in 2017 when she suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage. Such a hemorrhage takes place as a result of trauma to the vocal cords, which then leads to bruising. But it wasn’t just a case of resting until it heals, as Shakira had to undergo surgery to treat it.
Shakira spoke to The Guardian newspaper in 2019, revealing that she was feeling depressed during this period: “I had to communicate through signs and nobody could understand me.” And Gerard was there for all of it: “I was not positive. I was so pessimistic. I was a bitter person to be around. Gerard saw the worst of me.”