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Xavi defends Piqué amid media storm: “It’s embarrassing”

The former Barcelona captain said that the decision of his former teammate to retire was “understandable.”

Xavi defends Piqué amid media storm: “It’s embarrassing”

Xavi Hernández has come out in defence of Gerard Piqué following the centre-back’s announcement that he will retire from international duty after the 2018 World Cup. Xavi, who now plays in Qatar, told Catalan radio that treatment of his former Barcelona teammate has been completely “disrespectful.”

The whole debate is embarassing, says Xavi

I find this whole debate completely absurd. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “Anyone who hasn’t been following this would think he’d ripped the badge from his shirt. Nobody forces anyone to do anything and if you don’t want to play, like Oleguer back in the day [the famously pro-Catalan independence centre-back who played alongside Xavi at Barcelona under Frank Rijkaard] then you don’t. Now, if they call you up and you accept, like Piqué did, you do it to be part of the team. The objective is the same for everyone: to win.”

Xavi seen training alongside Gerard Piqué (and Xabi Alonso) during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

So much importance is given to the few idiots who speak out and say stupid things,” he continued. “These accusations that he lacks commitment, or that if you cover the colours of the flag on your socks… I suffered from that myself, although I took it lightheartedly.

Piqué's reaction is understandable

“How is he taking it? I don’t know, but he’s probably sick of everything. They’ve been disrespectful with Piqué and they’ve accused him of everything. His reaction is understandable. He’s grown tired and lost enthusiasm and it makes sense to me. Nobody forces you to play for the national team. You play because you want to compete and to win,” he added.