Gerard Pique has announced he will quit the Spanish national team after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Pique spoke to the media in the mixed zone after Spain’s 2-0 win against Albania in a 2018 World Cup qualifier -his 85th cap for La Roja ahead of what is seemingly his third and final World Cup.
The former Manchester United centre-half revealed his decision was based on the criticism he has received from the media and fans during his time with Spain.
“After World Cup 2018 I will leave the Spanish national team. I had this pre-planned, it’s not taken in the heat of the moment.
“I’ve always given everything on the pitch and although some have been grateful, others don’t want me here.” said Pique.
The latest criticism was when some claimed he had cut the sleeves of his shirt off for the team’s 2-0 win over Albania because of Spanish colours on them.
For a long period before the World Cup Pique was booed by fans around Spain because of his desire for Catalunya to be able to vote for independence among other things.