Pique under official investigation in Saudi soccer case

A Spanish judge has placed former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique under official investigation for his alleged involvement in illegal payments to relocate Spain's Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

Judge Delia Rodrigo concluded there were indications of wrongdoing in the deal between Pique's company Kosmos and the Spanish soccer federation, according to a court document.

According to the court documents, former Spanish soccer federation President Luis Rubiales, Saudi government-owned Sela Sport Company and Pique signed an agreement in 2019 in which Pique's company would receive 40 million euros ($A65.2m  )as a "success bonus" for the games being held in Saudi Arabia each year.

"The facts under investigation in the present proceedings originate from possible illegalities with criminal implications in contracting or agreements," Rodrigo wrote.

Pique made 397 appearances, scoring 29 goals, for Barcelona between 2008-2022, and played 102 times for Spain. A World Cup winner in 2010, a European Championship followed two years later.  At club level, he won three Champions Leagues and nine La Liga titles.