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Whistles, abuse and applause for Piqué as Spain arrive in Alicante

SPAIN-ALBANIA

Whistles, abuse and applause for Piqué as Spain arrive in Alicante

Whistles, abuse and applause for Piqué as Spain arrive in Alicante

FITO GONZALEZ

DIARIO AS

Around 200 fans were waiting outside Spain's team hotel, where La Roja will be based ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier with Albania.

The Spain squad are in Alicante ahead of Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Albania, with around 200 supporters waiting outside La Roja's hotel for their arrival, and defender Gerard Piqué the focus of the attention.

Jeers and abuse for Piqué mixed with encouragement

The Barcelona player was on the end of whistles and insults as he emerged from the team bus, but also received support from several fans. "Piqué, we love you!" read one of the most striking placards. Meanwhile, the warmest reception was reserved for Real Madrid's Isco and Marco Asensio.

Security around Spain team tightened

Security around La Selección has been stepped up, leading the team to enter their hotel via a side door - unlike their 2015 visit to the city for a friendly with England -  with minimal contact between the players and the fans. Indeed, only coach Julen Lopetegui stopped to sign autographs.

However, one youngster did manage to break through the security cordon to ask Isco for a photograph - which he agreed to, sparking applause from the crowd.

Spain are due to train at the Estadio José Rico Pérez on Thursday evening as they prepare for their penultimate fixture in Group G, which is followed by an away clash with Israel on Monday.

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