Shakira confirms split with soccer star Piqué

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FILE – Colombian singer Shakira, right, and FC Barcelona’s soccer player Gerard Pique pose to the media during the presentation of her new album “Shakira” in Barcelona, Spain, on March 20, 2014. Colombian pop star Shakira and her partner, Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqu, are separating. In a statement released on Saturday by Shakira’s PR firm, the pair said: We regret to confirm that we are separating. For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect our privacy. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

MADRID – Colombian pop star Shakira and her partner, Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué, are splitting up, the pair said in a statement released Saturday.

“We regret to confirm that we are separating,” the two said in a statement released by Shakira’s public relations firm. “For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you for your understanding.”

Shakira, 45, met the Barcelona defender while she was promoting her 2010 World Cup anthem, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).” The couple have two children, Sasha and Milan.

In recent days, rumors of the demise of the couple’s 11-year relationship had gripped Spanish media, fueled by media reports that Piqué, 35, had left the family’s home in Barcelona and was living by himself in the city.

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