Pique ‘proud’ to play for Spain despite boos

Gerard Pique

Facing the media on Wednesday ahead of Friday’s match against Albania, Spain’s Gerard Pique said he is proud to play for his country, despite being booed at training.

The defender was jeered by some fans at a training session in Alicante on Monday and has even offered to quit the international team if he is seen as a divisive figure.

“It is impossible to put in doubt my commitment,” said Pique.

“I have been here since the age of 15. I consider this a family.”

He added: “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.”

Pique also explained that just because the Catalan people are seeking independence, it does not mean they are against Spain.

“To go now would give belief to people who think that the solution is whistling and insult,” Pique said.

“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.”