Pique not for turn­ing on Spain re­tir­ment

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BARCELONA: Barcelona de­fender Ger­ard Pique in­sists he will not re­verse his de­ci­sion to re­tire from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball after the 2018 World Cup. Pique an­nounced his in­ten­tion to leave La Roja after hav­ing to demon­strate he didn’t cut the colours of the Span­ish flag off his kit dur­ing a 2-0 win in Al­ba­nia last week. The ab­surd in­ci­dent was the lat­est in a string of ac­cu­sa­tions con­cern­ing Pique’s com­mit­ment to play for Spain due to his out­spo­ken calls for a ref­er­en­dum on Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence. “The de­ci­sion is fi­nal. Events in Al­ba­nia brought it for­ward, I didn’t want to say it at that time, but I came out an­noyed by the story that was proven to be false and felt I had to say it.” Pique was rou­tinely jeered when play­ing for the na­tional team on home soil in the build-up to Euro 2016 in part for his po­lit­i­cal views, but also for his role is stok­ing the fierce ri­valry be­tween Barcelona and Real Madrid. How­ever, after win­ning the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2012 with Spain, he in­sisted his de­ci­sion to re­tire after the World Cup is not due to the treat­ment he has re­ceived. — AFP

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