'Pique's behaviour exceptional' - Lopetegui defends under-fire Barca defender following Spain boos

ShareClose Comments
The Roja defender was praised for his behaviour by the national coach following boos and whistles from fans during an open training session

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui praised Gerard Pique for his "exceptional" behaviour with the national team.

The Barcelona defender was jeered by fans at training on Monday as he continues to come under fire for his support of the Catalan independence referendum.

Spain 7/1 to win World Cup

Pique tearfully offered his Spain resignation on Sunday night amid a day of violence in the Catalonia region, with Barcelona forced to play their win over Las Palmas behind closed doors.

But the 91-time Spain international has the support of his coach, who is delighted with the way the centre-back has conducted himself.

"I don't go in and out of ideas. Gerard's behaviour is exceptional," Lopetegui told COPE .

"I wanted to know how he was and I've seen him willing and motivated. He is well and motivated. If it were not so, he wouldn't be with me."

Pique Lopetegui

Spain are on the verge of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, sitting three points clear atop Group G with two matches remaining.

Article continues below

But Lopetegui called for greater support of his team ahead of matches against Albania and Israel.

"I would encourage people to know that we need their support because we are not qualified for the World Cup," he said.

"It would have been a mistake to train behind closed doors."

Next article:
Lazio confirm departure of Man Utd target De Vrij
Next article:
Schmidt departs as Wolfsburg face relegation fight
Next article:
Werder Bremen confirm Orlando City negotiation for Lamine Sane
Next article:
Cape Town City - Young Buffaloes Preview: Benni McCarthy's men out to finish the job
Next article:
Why Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City will advance in Caf inter-club competitions
Close