The reception Gerard Pique received when arriving at Spain's open training session

Spain v Italy - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

Barcelona born Gerard Pique linked up with his international teammates after a turbulent few days in Catalonia.

There is a political and constitutional crisis facing Spain after an independence referendum in Catalonia descended into chaos on Sunday morning.

Barcelona did everything in their power to have Sunday's league game against Las Palmas postponed after footage of police brutality went viral on social media.

They were eventually forced to play behind closed doors and the 30-year-old former Manchester United defender starred in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Las Palmas.

Pique said: "It was very difficult to play the game.

"The board tried to suspend the match, but it wasn't possible. We debated it and the club decided we should play.

"I am and I feel Catalan, today more than ever. I am proud of the behaviour of the people of Catalonia. Voting is a right that must be defended.


"For a moment I couldn't believe it," Pique told the AFP agency. "I thought they would try to block the vote but they would try to do it in a peaceful manner. It wasn't like that, but at least the whole world has seen it.

"This decision has made things a lot worse. It is one of the worst decisions made by this country in 40 or 50 years. It has only served to separate Catalonia and Spain more and it will have consequences."

Aftermath Of The Catalonian Independence Referendum

Pique's arrival at open training

The international break is now upon us and the Spanish players linked up on Monday ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Israel.

Fans in Madrid were allowed in the stands to witness the first training session and Pique was given a special reception, for what they consider his betrayal to their country.

Watch the video of Spanish fans "welcoming" Pique to the field on Monday evening - you can't help but wonder what must be going through his head.

They chanted: “Pique, a**hole, Spain is your country… Pique, a**hole, leave the national team.”

Spain's training session lasted only 23 minutes, with the Barcelona man escorted away by a security guard.

The 2010 World Cup and EURO 2012 winner spoke about the possibility of retiring from international football before his arrival on Monday afternoon.

"I think I can continue," said Pique.

Spain v Italy - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

"But if the board really thinks I'm a problem, I will take a step back and leave the national team before 2018.

"There are many people in Spain who disagree with what happened today and believe in democracy."

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