Lopetegui: Pique a ‘blessing’

Spain national team Coach Julen Lopetegui has come out in praise of Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique.

In an interview with El Chiringuito, Lopetegui denied that Pique was problematic and, far from it, described him as ‘a blessing for the national team’.

“He is a great player and a great guy, someone who is loved by his teammates and loves the group. It is something I have no doubt about because his commitment is absolute,” claimed the 51-year-old, who was alluding to the player’s position in relation to the Catalan political situation and its effect on any disruption to the national set-up.

Lopetegui was asked his thoughts on Andres Iniesta’s impending departure from Barcelona, whilst also having his say on Sergio Ramos, Pique’s teammate in La Roja’s defence.

“Since announcing he is leaving at the end of the season we have entered into a constant phase of tribute to Iniesta – and I join this trend. But I’m much more interested in what he still has to give.

“As for Sergio Ramos, he is a great player and a great leader, a real captain. You can be a captain or a real captain. And Sergio is a real captain,” he maintained.

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