Gerard Pique has urged politicians on both sides of the Catalan independence to open dialogue and find solutions to the recent crisis.
The Barcelona defender clarified his own position on the issue and his commitment to the national team in the face of criticism from many Spanish fans.
“I want to talk and try to solve this problem,” Pique told his press conference.
“Being insulted is not nice but it is a challenge for me, I aim to turn this situation around.
“This isn’t about me, I’m used to the whistling even though it hurts. I feel bad for my teammates who now must cope with this.
“My teammates must be tired of talking about me, so I am here to answer all questions and speak for myself.
“It is Important to focus on three points on Friday (against Albania). We’ve been working hard for qualification for over a year and will continue to do so.
“I’ve been coming here since a 15-year-old and here this is like a family for me. You cannot doubt my commitment to the national side, I’m very proud of my achievements here.
“I have no regrets on anything I’ve said. We’re all humans and are influenced by our environments and can express our opinions.
“I believe Catalans should have the right to vote on their future and respect others think differently. So let’s have a conversation.
“People who believe in Catalan independence can play for Spain. You may want your own country, but that is nothing against Spain. That is not the case for me, but it would certainly be possible. People don’t oppose Spain and recognise it is full of good people.
“Everyone can express their opinions on topical subjects, why shouldn’t footballers be allowed to do the same?
“I never put myself on any side of the argument. I said people should be able to vote: to vote yes, no, or spoil their ballot. Fine.
“A lot of lies and talk has been about me and Ramos but we are very close and get on extremely well.
“I’ve considered retiring as it would be easier for my teammates, but that would be a victory for those whistling.
“I’d take everyone whistling me out to dinner, talk to them and then they wouldn’t whistle me anymore.
“Should Catalonia be independent? That’s the million dollar question, and I cannot answer.
“There’s a political problem and we either find a solution through dialogue and talking or things will get worse.
“Spain and Catalonia like a father with the son who wants to leave home. If you talk to him maybe he won’t.
“It is difficult to understand what is happening with Catalonia if you don’t go there. The TV channels show only what they want.
“Scoring a World Cup winning goal? Maybe there’s some radical journalists about who wouldn’t want us to win the World Cup like that.
“I want people to see that I’m coherent, defend what I believe and respect that others might think differently. I only ask for respect.”