Pique not prepared to change

2015-09-10 15:22
Gerard Pique (File)

Madrid - Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has said he remains committed to playing for Spain and won't change his outspoken ways despite being booed by sections of La Roja's fanbase.

Pique was targeted by the home fans during Spain's 2-0 win over Slovakia on Friday after mocking Real Madrid during Barcelona's treble-winning celebrations at the end of last season.

"The last thing I would do is leave the national team. Whether it lasts a day, a month or a year, I will continue to play as long as the coach wants me," he said on Thursday.

Pique also dismissed suggestions that his support for a democratic vote on Catalan independence had also played a part in the treatment he has received.

The 28-year-old was part of the Spain sides that won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship two years later.

He has been widely supported by his colleagues in the national team and coach Vicente del Bosque, who described the boos as "lamentable."

However, Real Madrid captain and international teammate Sergio Ramos said Pique's actions "hadn't helped" the situation given the rivalry that exists between the two clubs.

"I have 70 caps. There are no doubts, I have always given my best in every game," he added.

"I have been world and European champion. I haven't said anything bad and I don't have to defend myself."

In a heated press conference, Pique also pleaded for the rivalry between Barcelona and Madrid to not be a dividing factor when players from both sides come together to represent Spain.

"In the rivalry between Barca and Madrid I will not change," he said.

"When Barca have done well it is because Madrid haven't and the reverse. I always wish that Madrid do as badly as possible."

In May, Pique had sarcastically thanked Colombian rapper Kevin Roldan for playing his part in Barca's success last season after the performer caused controversy by posting pictures on social media of Madrid players celebrating Cristiano Ronaldo's 30th birthday just hours after a 4-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

"I don't regret anything that I have said and I would repeat it a thousand times and more," he added.

"I am like that, I want Madrid to always lose. That is the sporting rivalry that has always existed in Spain.

"That rivalry doesn't prevent me from having a good relationship with the Real Madrid players, my relationship with them is fantastic."

Spanish media reported earlier this week that Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium had been ruled out as a venue for a friendly between Spain and England on November 13, now set to be played in Alicante, to avoid more boos being directed at Pique.

Spain next play at home in a European Championship qualifier against Luxembourg in Logrono on October 9.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  gerard pique  |  soccer

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