Gerard Lopez: Pique did not retire from Spain to play for Catalonia

Catalonia manager Gerard Lopez has moved to quash speculation that his side had anything to do with Gerard Pique's decision to retire from Spanish international duty.

Pique announced his retirement from La Roja following the 2018 World Cup and this week he has accepted a call up from the Catalonia national side for their friendly with Venezuela.

The Barcelona defender is in line to make his 10th appearance for Lopez's side, but he manager has firmly denied any link between the two instances.

"Pique has not stopped playing for Spain, to play for Catalonia", he told Diario AS.

"He understands that he has reached a certain age and he has won everything."

Lopez has had to cope with withdrawals from his original squad, as well as players La Liga clubs declined to allow their players to leave a represent Catalonia due to their club commitments.

However Lopez has confirmed that he respects the decisions made on these players and he wants to focus on Monday's game in Girona against Rafael Dudamel's Venezuela.

Tags Gerard Pique