A tearful Gerard Pique insisted the Catalan people “aren’t the bad guys” after Sunday’s independence referendum. “We just want to vote…”
Pique casted his vote before Barcelona’s match against Las Palmas, which had to be played behind closed doors due to the mass disorder that erupted between riot police and the Catalan people.
“It’s a very tough day. The images of the Civil Guard and the National Police speak for themselves,” the defender said after the game.
“Us Catalans aren’t the bad guys, we just want to vote. When you vote, you can vote ‘yes’, ‘no’ or not at all, but you can still vote.
“Under [General] Franco’s regime, you couldn’t vote and it’s a right that we have to defend.
“I am and feel Catalan, and today I do more than ever.
“Riot police? I didn’t believe it. I thought they’d try to stop the vote but peacefully. At least everyone’s seen it.
“I think this has made things much worse. It has only separated Catalonia and Spain more and it’ll have consequences.”
The mayor of Barcelona called for Spanish Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy to resign after his handling of the referendum, and Pique joined her in taking a swipe at the 62-year-old.
“He’s a government President, who goes around the world and doesn’t know how to speak English. That’s his level,” he added.
“I’m very proud of Catalonia and all its people. These people deserve everything and more, for how they acted, how peaceful they were.
“Let them keep doing what they’re doing. Until today, until forever, so be it. No matter how much they incite you, let them sing louder.”