An emotional Gerard Pique offered his resignation from the Spain national team following a day in which the Catalunya region was engulfed by violence between referendum voters and police.
The world was shocked on Sunday by footage of Spanish national police striking out at protesters across the region, with some of the bloodiest clashes occurring in Catalan capital Barcelona.
A controversial referendum on Catalan independence was the flashpoint for incidents, with more than 400 people so far reported injured and Barcelona’s La Liga clash with Las Palmas played behind closed doors.
And even though Barca strolled to a 3-0 win, Pique could not hide his indignation having voted himself before the match, and challenged critics of his pro-Catalan stance in the RFEF and national team.
“If the coach or any director of the Federation thinks that I am a problem for the national, I will step aside before the World Cup,” the defender, visibly moved by the day’s events, told reporters at the final whistle.
“I am and I feel like a Catalan and today I am proud of the people of Catalunya.”