Barcelona defender: No plan to quit Spanish team

The Barcelona defender has been in the headlines this week for his support of the Catalunya independence referendum, which was violently broken up by security forces leaving over 900 injured in the region.

Pique has consistently supported the people of Catalonia's right to decide and Ramos has regularly been questioned about his global teammate's opinions.

Reports of unrest in the Spain camp because of Pique and Ramos' strained relationship certainly didn't help and now Pique has addressed those rumours, too.

"If I'm in favor of having the chance to vote, I also respect the fact that there are people who think differently to me", he said, adding that he had "never positioned myself on one side or the other".

Gerard Pique was booed in training this week by Spain fans due to his stance on Catalan independence.

Pique, who was in tears when he criticized police brutally against Catalans trying to vote last Sunday, said at the time that he would have no problem stepping aside from the national team if the coach or the Spanish federation saw him as a nuisance.

"I don't go in and out of ideas".

Lopetegui said now was the time for the team to focus on Friday's World Cup qualifier with Albania, where Spain could seal their place in next year's tournament in Russian Federation. We're here to speak about the team and to do the best we can to ensure our qualification for the World Cup. I want to continue for them. That's the million dollar question, and I can not answer... "We have to celebrate the good things and we have done it in the dressing room, singing and dancing".

However, speaking to the press before Spain's visit of Albania on Friday, the Barcelona centre-back has played down talk of a rift between the two and says it has been greatly exaggerated.

"I think it is time to start focusing on positive news in football and in the country because there are very good things", said Lopetegui.

Pique tweeted a picture on Sunday of him voting in the referendum, which was opposed by Spain's national authorities, together with a message that "together we are unstoppable in defending democracy".

"Despite everything that happened this week we were able to play a great match", Isco said. And we sing well tall and very strong. "We did our part and with the Italy result it ended up being enough".

Barcelona said none of its professional or youth teams practiced and its headquarters was closed.

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