Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has confirmed he has ended his glittering international career with the Spanish national team despite his former Barca coach Luis Enrique being appointed as coach.
The 31-year-old declared his intention to quit international football after the 2018 World Cup saying he was tired of repeated criticism from supporters and the media, and that he wished ‘to be left in peace’.
‘I spoke to Luis Enrique a few days ago. He called me and I told him the decision was taken a long time ago and that I had thought about it carefully,’ the defender told a news conference on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup game against Sevilla.
‘It was a beautiful time with the national team in which I had the chance to win the World Cup and the European Championship. Now I want to focus on Barca,’ he said. ‘I have a few years left here and I’m going to enjoy them a lot.’
Pique who made the last of his 102 international appearances in Spain’s World Cup last-16 loss to Russia, represented his country at two European Championships and three World Cups, helping his country win their only world crown in 2010 and triumphing at Euro 2012 two years later.