Gerard Pique has stirred up a lot of controversy recently and his name has popped up all over the news. The Spaniard has said that he will retire from the national team once the 2018 World Cup has concluded but the reason he gave for the same is what has brought him flak from all quarters.
The defender speaking yesterday said, “I have tried everything, but I can't bear this anymore, today's issue of the sleeves is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. They've managed to make me lose the excitement of coming here and although after Russia I'll only be 31, I'll leave.”
The sleeves issue that Pique is referring to is about him allegedly cutting off his long sleeve of his jersey. The sleeve had the Spanish national flag imprinted on it which was what has got the fans angry.
Xavi Hernandez has come out to sympathise with the Spanish international and former Barcelona teammate. Speaking to Sport he said, “Carles Puyol and I have suffered it too for years", saying that there was a "lack of respect. Pique took it seriously. He has the right to say he's fed up of it and doesn't want to go anymore. That's totally fine.”
"I think that he's sick of it. It's hopeless because you don't feel valued or loved and they tell you that you are not committed.”
Xavi and Puyol put up with a lot of hatred within the squad and it’s quite incredible how all this is unravelling at the moment, they still managed to dominate World football for so many years in the past.
New coach Julen Lopetegui who has seen both sides of the Catalan-Madrid derby has a very tough task in trying to suppress these issues and make sure the team continue to work together for the bigger cause.
Pique’s treatment is disrespectful: Xavi
Xavi also spoke to Spanish radio station RAC1 about the sleeve incident and was very upset with the general reaction.
“I find this whole debate completely absurd. It's embarrassing. Nobody forces anyone to do anything and if you don't want to play, like (Catalan) Oleguer (Presas) back in the day, then you don't.”
“So much importance is given to a few idiots who speak out and say stupid things. These accusations he (Pique) lacks commitment, or that if you cover the colours of the flag on your socks… I suffered from that myself, although I took it light-heartedly. I don't know how he is taking it, but he's probably sick of everything. They've been disrespectful with Pique and they've accused him of everything.”
Fabregas dropped because of Pique?
There is also the speculation that his close friend and fellow Catalan Cesc Fabregas was not included in the squad because the Real Madrid players in the team did not want him in the team.
Pique has slandered Real Madrid on several occasions before and now that slandering ahs finally caught up with him. Ramos and the others reportedly planned the move to drop Fabregas from the team so they can get back at Pique in the national team.
But there is also a strong case against Pique because of the things he has said about his teammates in the past. Spanish fans will be hoping this will die down soon.