Barcelona defender Gérard Pique has disclosed that he is fully committed to the Spanish national team and that he won’t let fans drive him out of the team because of his support for the Catalan independence referendum.
He made this known during Spain’s media conference on Wednesday as he invited journalists to ask him any question.
Pique had earlier been jeered by some fans at a Spanish national team training session in Alicante on Monday and has been quite vocal about him retiring from Spain duty before the World Cup in Russia if the federation wishes.
In his words, Pique said:
“It is impossible to put in doubt my commitment.”
“I have been here since the age of 15. I consider this a family.
“I am committed to maximum effort on the pitch and to demonstrate to the people I feel very proud to be in the Spain team.” he added.
Speaking further, Pique said:
“To go now would give belief to people who think that the solution is whistling and insult.”
“I don’t want to go through the back door. This team and all the Spanish federation are my family. I want to continue for them.
“What hurts most are my team-mates. It is an unpleasant situation for them. It would be best that it did not exist.” he further stated.
Pique also denied his stance on Catalonia has damaged his relationship with defensive partner and Spanish national team captain Sergio Ramos. He said:
“I get on great with Sergio Ramos. I have repeated that 20 times.”
Spain need a win against Albania in Alicante on Friday to effectively secure a spot in Russia 2018 due to their superior goal difference over nearest challengers Italy.