Tarik Antonio Mebarak made his debut for Andorra FC’s reserve side at the weekend in a move that has raised a few eyebrows
The nephew of Colombian pop star Shakira made his debut with the Andorra FC – the club owned by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique – at the weekend.
Andorra FC, who compete in the Spanish third division, were taken over by Pique’s investment group, Kosmos, in December 2018.
Pique has been the partner of Shakira and father of her two sons, Milan and Sasha, with the duo having been in a relationship since 2011.
The songstress’ nephew, Tarik Antonio Mebarak, has been a 19-year-old defender, and he played 90 minutes for the club’s reserve side in Sunday’s 4-1 win against Rialp and wore the No.3 jersey, which has been also the number Pique wears for Barcelona.
Mebarak has been the son of one of Shakira’s brothers, Tonino, and has previously played in the youth teams of Colombian clubs Atletico Junior Barranquilla and Santa Fe de Bogota.
He also went through the Miami Soccer club coached by Argentine manager Alejandro Waigandt.
Andorra FC B coach Carlos Sanchez told EFE following the teenager’s debut: “He plays as a right-back but I played him as a winger because we are talking about a soccer professional who has been quick and powerful.
“He has been physically a beast and because of his speed, the pitch seems too small for him.
“He told me that as a young boy he played as a No.9 and as a winger. Without a doubt, he can bring a lot to us.”
Mebarak has already trained alongside the first team squad at Andorra.
Although based in the independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees, the club have competed in the Spanish football league system since 1948.
When Kosmos took charge of the club, they were struggling with debt, one point off the relegation places and 17 points behind the leaders of the Primera Catalana.
Pique, 32, heard of the club through “friends of friends” from Andorra and thought “it could be an interesting opportunity”.
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He told the BBC this summer: “The main difference with other clubs in Spain has been here there’s a whole country backing up the team.
“We don’t want to be just an investor, we want to be involved in the team, to make it better and place the team in higher divisions.”
Pique’s first move was to appoint former Barcelona soccer professional Gabri Garcia as manager.