Larrea and Lopetegui stand by Piqué

Larrea and Lopetegui stand by Piqué

Julen Lopetegui's stance was reinforced by a declaration from Spanish FA chief, Juan Luis Larrea with his rotund;  “Piqué is going nowhere" comment, made during a publicity event yesterday linking the Federation to AFAE (Spanish association promoting wheelchair football). He praised the Barça players presence with the squad and his work with the Spain team appealing for common cense and normality to prevail. The Spanish national side features the best players and Piqué is one of those with his time linked with "La Roja" being exemplary. The Catalan independence question prompted the defender to to even offer to move sideways and stand down and it's good to see that his offer has no been taken up.

Rueda de prensaJuan Luis Larrea

The view on the other side of the Ebro

I realise that no everyone feels the same way over the situation as Lopetegui and Larrea do. There are many on this side of the Ebro river who want to see him ejected from the Spanish team after his participation in the independence referendum vote and later comments on the matter. These more radical individuals indeed hoped that he'd call time on his international career after Sunday and would have been happy to see him remain in Barcelona and not even show up at Las Rozas (Spanish FA HQ). It's far too easy to cast stones and much more complicated to work through a complicated situation in the way Pique has managed to do and I'm pleased to see that he's still part of the Spanish national team set-up.

Gerard Piqué

World Cup next year

It's feasible that Piqué will get whistled during Friday's match in Alicante and I genuinely hope that it's not as severe as on previous occasions, that would do this ongoing situation absolutely no favours whatsoever. We're also talking about the future of an excellent defender remaining with the national team with the 2018 Russian World Cup lurking on the horizon. It's also important for the harmony within the national team that this storm blows over. If Piqué is prepared to show up for the squad meetings, wear the famous red shirt, stand for the national anthem and play for "La Roja", then all is not lost.