Barcelona great Gerard Pique is to step aside from Spain duty
Spain centre-back Gerard Pique confirmed that not even the appointment of ex-Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has caused him to change his mind about retiring from Spain duty.
Pique, 31, was a key player when La Roja won World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. The last of 102 international run-outs came in disappointing fashion when hosts Russia knocked them out on penalties during World Cup 2018’s round of 16.
Former Barca supremo took over in the aftermath, ending a turbulent spell in which Fernando Hierro took temporary charge on the eve of the tournament after Julen Lopetegui was sacked for arranging a switch to Real Madrid.
“I talked to him (Enrique) a week or two ago. I told him that the decision was already made,” Pique said ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla.
Pique’s former Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta also stepped aside after Spain’s poor run at the World Cup.
“It was a great stage at the Euros and World Cup,” added Pique.
“I’m very happy to have participated in all these successes, but now I want to focus on Barca. I have three years left and the more the better.”