Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and pop sensation Shakira have announced their separation.

The pair had been together for 11 years and have two children, aged nine and seven.

Amid recent speculation of growing disharmony, a widely released statement via Shakira's communication agency on Saturday confirmed the news.

"We regret to confirm that we are parting ways," Shakira's statement read.

"For the well-being of our children, who are our highest priority, we ask that you respect their privacy. Thank you for your understanding."

Pique met Shakira while appearing in her single 'Waka Waka', the official song for the 2010 World Cup, Spain went on to win.