Gerard Pique willing to quit Spain amidst Catalan referendum


Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has offered to quit the Spanish national side following the chaotic scenes of the Catalan referendum.

A La Liga meeting with Las Palmas on Sunday seemed unlikely to go ahead as Spanish police attempted to halt Catalonia’s referendum for independence.

Thousands of supporters were outside the stadium as the club confirmed the game would go ahead behind closed doors less than an hour before kick-off.

“It’s been a very tough day, probably the toughest since I turned professional, but my opinion counts for little,” said Gerard Pique.

“National team? I really think I can still go with the national team because I’m convinced that there are thousands of people who are in total disagreement with what’s happened.”

catalan referendum
Gerard Pique has played 91 times for Spain, most of which have been alongside Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid man played the early part of his career at right-back for La Roja as Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol made up the central duo for the 2010 World Cup triumph, while it was the central pairing of Pique and Ramos that helped them take out Euro 2012 two years later.

“But I’ll also say that if the coach or another executive in the federation thinks I’m a problem or a disturbance in the national team, I have no qualms about stepping aside and leaving the team before 2018.”

The former Manchester United player’s comments leaves a cloud of doubt over his status for next year’s World Cup in Russia and, despite Spain having a plethora of defensive options in their ranks, none are at the level of a Gerard Pique-Sergio Ramos partnership.

Despite the bedlam surrounding the match, Barcelona saw off Las Palmas 3-0 courtesy of a Lionel Messi brace and Sergio Busquets header.

Barcelona are top of La Liga after picking up maximum points from the first seven games, five points clear of second-placed Sevilla and seven points above Real Madrid.


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