Barcelona’s Gerard Pique shows off Shakira’s baby bump for a good cause

Gerard Pique and Shakira expecting birth of their first child. (Jaume de Laiguna)

Barcelona ace Gerard Pique, 25, and his partner, Colombian singer Shakira, 35, are eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child within the next few weeks.

In a series of new photos shot by Jaume de Laiguna, the couple -- who share the same birthday (February 2) -- took turns to pose for several portraits showing off the 35-year-old singer's baby bump.

Although both Pique and Shakira are considered huge stars in Barcelona and are closely followed by the Spanish paparazzi, the polished portraits were not for the cover of a glossy tabloid.

Instead, the couple kept it classy and shared their pregnancy shots as part of a charity campaign with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Pique and Shakira are huge celebrities in Barcelona.

The couple shared their photos as part of a charity campaign with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The couple delivered a message on video encouraging fans from all around the world to donate gifts to low-income mothers and their babies.

"As you all know, we will soon be welcoming our first child into the world, and to celebrate his birth, we've organised a virtual baby shower in association with UNICEF. In lieu of receiving gifts for our baby as with a traditional shower, we would like to offer support for babies who live in conditions of extreme poverty throughout the world," said Shakira.

"Thanks to all of you, they will receive in the form of inspired gifts therapeutic food packages, vaccines, and rehydration salts which will help save the lives of hundred of thousands of babies throughout the world," she added.

Pique announced on his Twitter page that Shakira had delivered the couple's baby on December 27, but it was later revealed to be a " Dia de los Inocentes" prank, the Spanish equivalent of April Fool's Day.

The defender - whose team will face AC Milan in the Champions League last 16 - recently admitted that his Barcelona family has kept his feet on the ground.

"They've given me everything. They were my support when we started this. They kept my feet on the ground when we started winning. I think you always have [your parents], for good and bad. They are the best parents you could have. Every son would say the same, but in my case they've always given me everything I needed, and I cannot ask for more," he said.

Rafael van der Vaart hit his wife at a New Year's Eve party.

In other news, despite announcing their divorce two weeks ago after hitting her at a New Year's Eve party, former Tottenham and Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart, and his wife of eight years, Sylvie, have decided to reconcile for the sake of their six-year-old son.

"I'm so happy. We are trying again," Rafael recently told German magazine, 'Gala', following Hamburg's mid-season training camp in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Sylvie reportedly told her friends : "I still loved Rafael", although the 29-year-old striker reportedly purchased a temporary bachelor's pad in the north of Hamburg.

Van der Vaart's decision to speak to a German tabloid about his relationship also underlined the flashy couple's fascination with the media.

Dubbed the 'Posh and Becks' of The Netherlands, they have participated in various reality TV programmes. Both also have their very own wax figures at the Madame Tussauds museum in Amsterdam.

News of the couple's reconciliation was met with excitement from German tennis legend, Boris Becker, who said : "Great news this morning! Sylvie and Rafael Van der Vaart are trying again. Bravo!"

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