Barcelona and Spanish defender Gerard Pique plans to retire from international football after the 2018 World due to the incessant criticism from the press and fans.
The defender who has who has been criticised for his backing of Catalan independence, as well as his role in perceived past spats between Barcelona and Real Madrid players says he is “tired”
Supporters and press took their jibes to a whole new level during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Albania, with some claiming he had cut the regulation short-sleeved jersey in order to remove the trim on the shirts that bears the design of the Spanish flag.
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In a statement released by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the 29 year old said:
“I’ve tried everything but I cannot take any more,”
“Today with the sleeves is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. They’ve made it so I’ve lost the excitement of coming here, and although after Russia I’ll only be 31, I’ll leave.”
The RFEF also communicated their support for the centre-back and revealed that Sergio Ramos did the same thing; wearing a long sleeve.
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“The Royal Spanish Football Federation wants to show their support for the Spanish international Gerard Pique regarding the controversy caused by the cutting of long sleeves of his shirt in the match played against Albania,” a statement read.
“Contrary to what was indicated by some malicious comments – that the player cut his sleeves to avoid wearing a top with the national colours – the RFEF wishes to clarify that this trimming only exists in the Adidas short-sleeve shirt, and not in the long sleeves, which is what Pique wore in the match.
“This lack of trimming can be seen on the shirt of his partner, Sergio Ramos, who also worse long sleeves.
“The player cut his sleeves with the sole purpose of playing more comfortably, like other internationals have done on many occasions.
“Unfair criticism of Gerard Pique has caused him to declare that he will leave the Spanish team after the World Cup in Russia.”
The 28 year old has played 84 times for the Spanish national team winning the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.