Pique offers to resign from Spain team amid Catalan referendum violence

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While Barca prevailed 3-0 on Sunday the win was a hollow one for the defender, who broke down while speaking to reporters after the game

An emotional Gerard Pique offered his resignation from the Spain national team following a day in which the Catalunya region was engulfed by violence between referendum voters and police. 

The world was shocked on Sunday by footage of Spanish national police striking out at protesters across the region, with some of the bloodiest clashes occurring in Catalan capital Barcelona. 

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A controversial referendum on Catalan independence was the flashpoint for incidents, with more than 400 people so far reported injured and Barcelona's La Liga clash with Las Palmas played behind closed doors. 

And even though Barca strolled to a 3-0 win , Pique could not hide his indignation having voted himself before the match, and challenged critics of his pro-Catalan stance in the RFEF and national team.

"If the coach or any director of the Federation thinks that I am a problem for the national, I will step aside before the World Cup,"  the defender, visibly moved by the day's events, told reporters at the final whistle. 

"It has been a very hard game to play, the worst experience of my professional career.

"I am and I feel like a Catalan and today I am proud of the people of Catalunya.

"We are not a minority, there were millions of us. We are not the bad guys, we just want to vote."

Gerard Pique Barcelona

Barcelona had requested that their Sunday game not go ahead in light of the widespread police crackdown on voting in the region on a referendum that the Spanish government had branded illegal.

La Liga, however, had insisted that the game go ahead without any access for supporters due to fears of violence within Camp Nou.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who has played for and coached Barcelona, expressed his dismay at how the team had been forced to play against Las Palmas.

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