FC Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique on Wednesday maintained that a Catalan separatist could play for Spain's football team, but regretted that this was not the case for him.
Pique was booed during the national team camp for the upcoming two World Cup qualifiers by fans after he posted via Twitter a photo of him voting in the illegal Catalan independence referendum, reports Efe.
The defender said at a press conference that "I think that a pro-independence supporter could play with Spain because there is no Catalan national team, and a pro-independence support has nothing against Spain".
Officers from Spain's National Police and militarized Civil Guard tried to thwart Sunday's independence vote from going ahead by removing ballot boxes from polling stations, which led to clashes with voters and left more than 800 people injured, according to the Catalan government.
Spain's Interior Ministry said that 431 members of the security forces were injured.
The 30-year-old Pique said there are different opinions about the Catalan's right to vote, but "respect comes first and through dialogue come to fruition".
On the other hand, Pique said his relationship with Spain's skipper Sergio Ramos in the selection was "phenomenal".
Pique on Sunday said he was ready to leave the Spanish national team before 2018 if he is not wanted.
The defender said on October 9, 2016 that he would hang up his boots at the international level after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
However, he said on Wednesday he contemplated all options, including the possibility of playing with the selection even after the World Cup.
He said that the best choice for him is to keep playing with the selection, accepting the challenge of changing the situation.