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10th Oct 2016

Gerard Pique to quit Spain team because of shirt sleeves controversy

No, really.

Kevin Beirne

Gerard Pique is not afraid of bold fashion choices.

The Barcelona centre-back has caused more than a few stirs on social media over the years for his rather unusual stylistic choices.

It ranges from the slightly different spin on an old classic to get a little breezier during training…

To the downright bizarre as he drops a not so subtle hint ahead of the annual royal honours…

Although he’s still no patch on his namesake, the mascot for the 1986 World Cup/captain of your nightmares….

But Pique’s most outspoken fashion statement might be set to end his international career prematurely.

The 29-year-old has announced his is to retire from the Spanish national team after the 2018 World Cup over a controversy to do with his shirt sleeves.

During Spain’s 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Albania at the weekend, fans noticed that Pique’s shirt did not include the national colours at the end of the sleeves.

Pique appeared to have cut a long-sleeved shirt in order to avoid wearing the trim, apparently as a sign of support for Catalan independence.


In a statement following the match, the Spanish FA said that the defender had cut the sleeves short “with the sole aim of playing more comfortably, the same way other players have done on many occasions” and described claims that he was intending to avoid wearing the national colours as “malicious”.

The accusations have apparently caused Pique to retire from national duty after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He said:

“I have tried everything, but I can’t bare this anymore, today’s issue of the sleeves is the straw that breaks the camel. They’ve managed to make me lose the excitement of coming here and although after Russia I’ll only be 31, I’ll leave.”

Right, so.

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