‘He’s a special guy and we have to defend him’ - Del Bosque backs Pique

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The 64-year-old wants supporters to stop whistling the Barcelona defender and says his behaviour throughout his time with the national team has been 'exemplary'

Vicente del Bosque has again defended Gerard Pique after the Barcelona centre-back was jeered by supporters during Spain’s 2-0 win over Slovakia at the weekend.

The 28-year-old has been targeted by some fans due to his support for Catalonian independence campaigns and some inflammatory remarks directed at Real Madrid.

But Del Bosque, who has already leapt to the defence of Pique after he visited a nightclub ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovakia, says the defender has his complete backing.

"For me it is something small and I do not want to give it more importance,” he told Cadena Ser.

“I have already said that I do not like whistles. With the team [Pique] has shown exemplary behaviour in the 70 games he has played.

“This behaviour [whistles] is difficult to stop. He's a special guy and we have to defend him.

"If I do not call him anymore for the national team, we would give reason to those who whistle him. The facts speak louder than words.”

Spain take on Macedonia on Tuesday in Euro 2016 qualifying with Pique expected to feature for Del Bosque's side.