When it comes to long-term celebrity relationships, Shakira is a big fan. When it comes to marriage, however, the Colombian-born singer is decidedly less enthusiastic. “To tell you the truth, marriage scares the shit out of me,” she said during a 60 Minutes interview with her longtime partner, Gerard Piqué, earlier this month. “I don’t want him to see me as the wife. I’d rather him see me as his girlfriend.”
And indeed, though the couple have been together for nearly a decade and share two young children together, Shakira and Piqué are not, in fact, married. The superstar pair first met on the set of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” music video in 2010, which she was filming in honour of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At the time, Piqué was one of the soccer stars in the video. He felt drawn to Shakira right away; the feeling was mutual. A friend eventually introduced the pair, and they began to message back and forth about the weather, of all things.
“It all started when we were in South Africa and I wrote to her,” Piqué told TV3 in 2016. “She was already there because she sang in the opening ceremony and I asked her what the weather was like. It is 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 in every single moment and it got to the point where I told her we would have to get to the World Cup final to see her again — she was singing at the final.” (At the time, he was playing for FC Barcelona; the team did, thankfully, end up winning the World Cup that year.)
Piqué is largely quiet-kept in the media — and on social media — preferring to keep his public image focused solely on his professional career, so even that tiny anecdote says a lot about the pair’s connection. What we do know is that, aside from a brief four-year stint playing for Manchester United, Piqué has always played for FC Barcelona (his current contract has him playing with the team through 2022), and his dedication to and passion for soccer have even turned Shakira into a fan.
“I wasn’t a soccer fan, so I didn’t know who he was,” Shakira recalled during the 60 Minutes interview of their first meeting. “When I saw the video, I was like, ‘Hmm, that one’s kind of cute.’” Their two sons, however, have been ardent soccer fans from the get-go. Following the January 2013 birth of their first son, Milan, Shakira wrote on her site, “Just like his father, baby Milan became a member of FC Barcelona at birth.”
“We already have what’s essential, you know?” she told Glamour in 2014. “We have a union, a love for each other, and a baby. I think that those aspects of our relationship are already established, and marriage is not going to change them. But if I’m ever going to get married, he’s the one.”