Pique stands up for Spain team-mate Pedro

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The Chelsea winger complained about a lack of first-team opportunities at international level after featuring only late on against the Czech Republic thus far in France

Gerard Pique has come out in defence of Spain international team-mate Pedro after the Chelsea attacker vented his frustrations about being a bit-part player at Euro 2016.

Pedro came off the bench late in Spain's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in their tournament opener, but was an unused substitute as the two-time defending European champions defeated Turkey 3-0 on Friday. 

The former Barcelona winger said he had "other expectations" when he arrived in France, but later apologised to the media and team-mates for his outburst, before Vicente Del Bosque confirmed that he would not be punished for his statements.

And Pique has now backed Pedro, telling reporters:"This is a normal statement from a player who wants to play more.

"Players like Pedro have had a significant career and want to continue playing and providing for the team."

Spain face Croatia in their final Group D clash on Tuesday as they look to seal top spot, with Pique coming up against Barca team-mate Ivan Rakitic.

"I have a very good relationship with him although I haven't spoken to him in the last few days," the 29-year-old said.

"They have a great team and it will be a difficult game."

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