CROATIA - SPAIN

Piqué denies bird-flip during anthem: "I was crossing fingers"

The Spain defender moved to quash controversy over a hand gesture during the anthem: "I have never lacked respect".

Gerard Piqué was swift to deny he had shown a lack of respect towards Spain before the Croatia game on Tuesday night, when television cameras picked up the defender appearing to flip the bird during the national anthem. “I think it’s stupid. If I’m here, it’s because I am proud of this team and this family. I did not in any way show a lack of respect towards the anthem, as I have never shown a lack of respect towards this country, or the national team. I hope we can all pull together. These controversies are a highway to nowhere.”