Gerard Pique explained decision to cut shirt sleeves to Spain teammates

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Goals from Diego Costa and Nolito helped Spain along to a comfortable 2-0 win over Albania on Sunday night, yet it was Gerard Pique who stole all headlines.

The Barcelona centre-back took to the field having cut the sleeves on his shirt, in what many believed was an attempt to shun Spain and pledge his allegiance to Catalonia.

An understandable mix up, with the Spanish FA later releasing a statement explaining how Pique cut his sleeves for comfort reasons.


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"The Royal Spanish Football Federation wants to show their support for the Spanish international Gerard Pique to the controversy by cutting the long sleeves of his shirt in the match played against Albania," it said.

"The player cut sleeves with the sole purpose of playing more comfortable, like other international have done on many occasions."

Pique has since announced he will retire from international football following the 2018 Russia World Cup, with abuse from Spain fans unrelenting.

However, it's now been revealed what the 29-year-old said to his teammates before cutting his sleeves, all but confirming exactly why he decided to do so.

According to Marca, per Sport, he said in the dressing room: "Fuck, these sleeves are too tight, give me scissors to cut them off."

That's that, then - Pique was just uncomfortable.

Former Barcelona teammate Xavi has since come out in his countryman's defence and branded those criticising him as "sick" and "desperate".

"I think it's sick and desperate," he told RAC1, per Marca. "You don't feel valued or loved even though you've shown your commitment.

"Pique's taking it very seriously, and has every right to say that he's tired and doesn't want to continue, it's the right decision.

"[Carles] Puyol and I suffered the same problem for years, what they've done to Pique is disrespectful to him as a professional.

"It's an absurd controversy, we give far too much importance to this kind of nonsense."

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La Liga
Gerard Pique
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