Shakira and Piqué 'regret to confirm' they are separating after 12 years together

·1 min read
A woman blowing a kiss next to a man wearing a suit
Colombian singer Shakira and Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué attend the 2019 Davis Cup final in Madrid. (Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

One of the world's most powerful celebrity couples, Shakira and Gerard Piqué, have called it quits after 12 years together.

The Colombian pop sensation, 45, and the Spanish soccer phenom, 35, confirmed their split Saturday in a joint statement obtained by CNN. They share two sons: 7-year-old Sasha Piqué Mebarak and 9-year-old Milan Piqué Mebarak.

"We regret to confirm that we are separating," read the statement, which was also released in Spanish. "For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we request respect for (our) privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

Shakira and Piqué began dating in 2010 after reportedly meeting on the set of a music video for her song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

At the time, Piqué had recently launched his tenure with FC Barcelona, the soccer team he has played for since 2008. And Shakira had just released her hit studio album "She Wolf" in 2009.

In a 2014 interview with the Associated Press, Shakira credited the 2010 World Cup with introducing her to "the love of my life."

“If it wasn’t for the World Cup, my son Milan would not be here,” she added.

The pair announced the birth of their first child, Milan, in January 2013 before welcoming his baby brother, Sasha, in January 2015.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.