Why Gerard Pique should never play for Spain again

Gerard Pique is a controversial figure. Love him or hate him, the Barcelona star has the ability to never go unnoticed, regardless of whether that implies talking to the media, completing a degree at Harvard university or attending one of the many concerts in which his very famous wife, Shakira, should be the rightful star of the show.

Despite having played for Spain regularly since his early teens, Pique has undisputedly become the preferred target for fans to abuse not only during matches, but now also training sessions. And yes, I am referring to the vast majority of Spanish fans, aka the very same team Pique has been part of for the best part of two decades. Apparently, helping La Roja win the U-19 European Championships in 2006, the senior European Championships 2012 and the World Cup in 2010 is not enough to win their affection.

Clearly, Pique's straight-talking defense of the Catalan cause both in social media and in front of the cameras has made him the most unpopular person in the Spanish national team and, arguably, perhaps in the whole of Spain right now. His emotional words after Barca's 3-0 victory over Las Palmas on Catalan Referendum Sunday were certainly the final nail in the coffin but, clearly, the situation has deteriorated gradually over the years and has now reached a point of no return.

As we discussed at length in Episode 38 of The Barcelona Podcast, Pique now has no option but to step aside and focus on excelling for Barcelona for the rest of his career. While the 30-year-old seems determined to continue to conquer silverware for Spain for as long as his coaches select him, it is now time to step away from the immense pressure currently on his shoulders. Listen why here:

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