Lopetegui backs Pique future

Spain Coach Julen Lopetegui has no doubts over Gerard Pique despite suggestions he could immediately retire from international football.

Various reports across the Spanish press suggest the Barcelona defender could step down from international football, and the 30-year-old stated on Sunday he would step down if he was ‘a problem’ for the manager or the Spanish Federation.

“Pique is not a problem for us,” Lopetegui told Cadena Ser.

“He is an excellent footballer and boosts us so of course he will be here with us – he always gives his maximum and he is relaxed, he’s fine.

“Maybe he is judged by his political views but he is undoubtedly very committed to us and has never let us down.

“Gerard is a player and I am a Coach so we have to talk about football and our aims to get to the World Cup – football unites and nobody can use a football platform for political means.”

Pique faced a chorus of derogatory whistles, jeers, chants and banners by Spanish fans at an opening training session on Monday in Madrid.

Tags Gerard Pique Julen Lopetegui Spain