Spanish defender Gerard Pique has announced that he will end his International career after the 2018 World Cup citing opposition to his presence in the squad over his pro-Catalonian stance. The controversial Barcelona defender was a part of Spain's victorious 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro teams.
Pique announced his retirement after Spain thumped Albania by a 2-0 margin on Sunday in the European qualifiers for the World Cup. After being ridiculed by many people for his pro-Catalonia stance, Pique has decided to end his career, it appears.
In a statement, he said, “I always give everything I have on the field, but there are people who think it's better if I'm not here," Pique said. "After Russia, a stage will have ended for me," reported ESPN.
Pique had stoked another controversy during Sunday’s match by cutting the sleeves of his Jersey which had the colours of the Spanish flag.
After declaring his retirement, Pique said, “It's not a `heat of the moment' decision, I've given a lot of thought to this. It's not because of what happened today, it's because I always give my best on the field and, although there are some people who have thanked me, some don't think it's OK for me to be here."
With Barcelona, he has won six Spanish league titles, as well as three Club World Cups and three Champions League titles.