Del Bosque urges Pique to continue Spain career
Former World Cup-winning Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has urged Gerard Pique to continue representing his country after the 2018 World Cup instead of retiring from international football as planned.
Pique announced in October that he will stop playing for Spain once the tournament in Russia is over after growing tired of criticism relating to his perceived pro-Catalonia stance.
The Barcelona centre-back has also often been jeered by Spain supporters during matches.
Del Bosque gave Pique his Spain debut in 2009 and guided the team to success in both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, and the 66-year-old wants to see the ex-Manchester United defender continue.
"These players have won the right to decide when they want to leave," he said. "But I would tell him to continue."
Del Bosque also spoke briefly about his time as a manager and although the Real Madrid legend pledged to never coach either Atletico Madrid or Barca, he ended up building a strong rapport with them while in charge of Spain.
"When I retired as a player I said that I would never coach Atletico Madrid or Barcelona," he said.
"And actually they have been two of the clubs that have behaved better with me [in terms of releasing players for international duty]."