Spain Training Session Lasts 23 Minutes Before Gerard Pique Forced To Leave With Security Escort (Photos & Video)

Chris Wright

3rd, October 2017


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The tension was palpable during Spain’s open training session in Madrid on Monday, the very day after the Catalan independence referendum in Barcelona was mired by scenes of police brutality and politically-fuelled violence.

Of course, after he was seen voting in the referendum, it was Barca defender Gerard Pique who bore the brunt of the ire from the dissenting spectators in attendance, emerging from the tunnel at the beginning of the session to a chorus of boos and hisses…

Pique is a staunch, vocal advocate of Catalan culture, and as such has been routinely pilloried by Real Madrid and Spain fans in the past for his political stance.

David Cartlidge, Spanish football scribe for FourFourTwo magazine, reported that many of the jeering ‘fans’ made the special trip to the training facility simply to abuse Pique in person…

According to ESPN FC, several inflammatory banners were removed from the 1,000-strong crowd, many of which were directed at Pique.

Police and security staffers removed some of the signs, one of which read: “Pique do not go, I want you to be kicked out. You make me sick.”

Others simply said: “Pique out.”

And so, before the whole thing boiled over, the session was called to a premature halt after less than 25 minutes.

Pique then left the pitch flanked by security staff as objects were pelted in his general direction…

After Barca decided to play Las Palmas behind closed doors on Sunday as a protest against the violence, an emotional Pique – who described the match as “the worst moment of his career” – offered to quit the national team if the Spanish FA deem his continued presence in the squad to be toxic.

If anyone believes I am a problem for the federation, I will step aside from the national team before the World Cup.

Going with the national team is not a competition in patriotism, it’s about trying to play the best you possibly can.

What a sorry mess, and what a shame for all those kids who just wanted to see their favourite footballers up close.

As for Pique, his position with La Roja looks increasingly unsustainable, through no real fault of his own. Surely a retirement is imminent?

Either way, risible stuff.

Posted in Barcelona, International football, Newsnow, Videos

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  1. freppy says:

    Good article but Barca weren’t forced to play behind closed doors, it was their decision. The president did it as a protest.

  2. Maria says:

    If he’s such a proud Catalan, he shouldn’t want to play for ‘la selección’. How can he feel so Catalan, but represent Spain?

    • A Nonny Moose says:

      As if one can’t have multiple identities? Sheesh. And he HAS been called up for Catalunya in the recent past.

      Besides, last I checked, Catalunya was not a member of either UEFA or FIFA. His highest dreams should be exactly what he has done – winning the Euro and the World Cup.

      By golly, it IS possible to represent both! And he has done so largely rather respectfully, especially considering all the crap he gets. F$@k jingoistic nationalism, everywhere.

      • Archer says:

        Exactly – your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

        The international system is a joke anyway – all any fella has to do is get citizenship of a country (usually after a few years residence) then he’s eligible for the national team. Look at the Swiss team; USA have a history of dishing out passports to get a player in their team too…

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