Pique adamant over quit decision

International Football

Gerard Pique says he will not reconsider his decision to quit international football for Spain following the World Cup in 2018.

The Barcelona defender announced his retirement earlier this month after being criticised by some fans for apparently cutting the Spanish flag off his shirt in Spain’s recent win over Albania.

Pique is adamant he did not do what was claimed but he maintained his decision to retire from the international stage following the Russia World Cup in two years’ time was final.

“Yes, it is a final decision,” Pique said at a news conference ahead of Barca’s Champions League game with Manchester City on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to announce my decision then [after Albania], but I wasn’t too happy with the stories which were later proven to be false, so I felt the need to announce it then.

“This is a decision I took myself, because I think I deserve to leave how and when I want to, when I’m 31 after the World Cup.

“If the coach [Julen Lopetegui] continues to call me up, I will have played for Spain for 10 years and I think that’s the best option for me, to take a step to the side and allow future generations to take the space I’ve taken over this time.”


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