Spain's Gerard Pique announces international retirement
Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from international football. The Spaniard made 102 appearances for his nation and scored 5 times during his career. The 31-year-old saw his side get knocked out in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. Pique called it a day in order to focus more on FC Barcelona.
Pique an outstanding servant of Spain
The commanding defender played a decisive role for his nation and was at the heart of some stunning performances. He was a part of the side which won the FIFA World Cup 2010 and the European Championship in 2012. Pique formed a strong partnership with Madrid's Sergio Ramos and dictated the proceedings. Pique will always be remembered as a vital cog in Spain's set-up.
Pique was jeered by Spain fans
The player had decided to quit international football post Russia World Cup way back in 2016. He had stated back then that he wanted to be left in peace after intense criticism. He was often jeered by several sections of Spanish fans, as he supported Catalonia's independence referendum. Catalonia is home to 7.5 million people in north-east Spain and has its own culture.
Pique's statement on Spain
Pique stated that, "I spoke to Luis Enrique a few days ago. He called me and I told him the decision was taken a long time ago and that I had thought about it carefully."