Sergio Ramos Criticises Gerard Pique for Catalan Referendum Comments

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2017

(L-R) Sergio Ramos of Spain, Gerard Pique of Spain during the UEFA Euro 2016 round of 16 match between Italy and Spain on June 27, 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris, France.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
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Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has criticised a social media post from Barcelona defender Gerard Pique in which he backs a Catalan referendum.

On Thursday, Pique took to social media to back the referendum taking place on Sunday without implying what way he would vote himself. When asked about the post, Ramos said his Spain team-mate's decision to wade into the debate will not earn him any extra favour with fans of the national team.

"Pique's tweet is not the best if you don't want them to whistle," said the Real Madrid skipper, per Juancar Baena of Marca. "Maybe the tweet is not the best for the group either but everyone is free to say what they think."

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Sergio Ramos, #4 of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid v Real Betis at Santiago Bernabeu on September 20, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images)
Sonia Canada/Getty Images

Ramos was speaking ahead of Spain's upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, when he is expected to partner Pique in the centre of defence.

Pique's affiliation with Barcelona has led to him being jeered by fans from across Spain when representing the national side at times, particularly when they've played at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Here's the post he put on social media in Catalan about the upcoming referendum:

"From today and until Sunday, let us express ourselves peacefully," it read, per Reuters (h/t the MailOnline). "We do not give them any excuse. That's what they want. And we sing well tall and very strong."

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19:  Gerard Pique of Barcelona in action during the warm up prior the La Liga match between Barcelona and Eibar at Camp Nou on September 19, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
fotopress/Getty Images

The referendum is set to be held on Sunday, though as reported by Sam Jones of The Guardian, the Spanish government is seeking to block the ballot as they believe it is illegal.

On the field, Spain have two crucial games coming up as they seek to secure their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Next Friday they host Albania before travelling to Israel on Monday; La Roja currently lead Group G by three points from Italy and need four points from their last two games to guarantee top spot.