Defender Gerard Pique – who retired from the Spanish National team last July – has enjoyed a good 2018-’19 season so far, with his club FC Barcelona.
The Catalans are on their way towards defending their La Liga title from last season, and have also entered the finals of the Copa del Rey. In addition, they will also face Manchester United in the Champions League Quarter-finals, soon.
Pique meanwhile, has featured in 40 club appearances across competitions till date this season, which shows how important he is for the Blaugranas. He also has 7 goals and 3 assists in his tally for the season so far.
Earlier, Sport reported that Luis Enrique, former Barcelona coach and the current manager of the Spanish National team, had requested Pique to join with the team for the upcoming EURO 2020 Qualifiers. But apparently, Pique is not interested in rescinding his national-team retirement.
The 32-year old center back recently played for the Catalonian National team against Venezuela in a friendly game. This was his first assignment in national colours after Spain’s shock exit in the FIFA World Cup 2018 Round-of-16 where they lost to hosts Russia in penalties.
Catalonia won 2-1, and Pique spoke to reporters after the match.
He was asked about his retirement from Spain’s national team, to which he said, “The decision has been made and I do not regret it. The people that don’t want to understand it aren’t going to understand but I explained it all at the time. It was the right moment to leave the Spanish national team. I needed to rest.”
He further added: “The Catalan national side only needed me for one day. The two things have nothing to do with each other.” – thereby dismissing reports that he retired from the Spanish side with the sole intention of playing for Catalonia.
The defender himself was aware as to how his recent club performances have received a boost, now that he has the occasional International breaks for himself. He is yet to sit out for Barca in a league game this season, and the International breaks are only when he can afford a little rest.
“It’s not just for me, but for others [who don’t play international football] too. It’s obvious in my case I am performing better for Barca since I left [the Spanish team],” he concluded.