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Zidane unruffled as Madrid crumble in Catalonia

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Real Madrid can still retain their La Liga title insisted coach Zinedine Zidane despite slumping to a shock 2-1 defeat at Girona on Sunday on their much-anticipated return to Catalonia.
The European champions hadn’t set foot in the deeply divided region over Catalan independence since a violence-marred referendum on October 1 sparked a political crisis across Spain.
Just days after the central Spanish government imposed home rule on Catalonia to nullify the local separatist leaders’ attempts to declare independence, Madrid were expected to enter the eye of the storm in the pro-independence hotbed of Girona, just over 100 kilometres northeast of Barcelona.
However, there were only a smattering of chants in favour of independence amid a largely party atmosphere with Spanish flags also waved by the Madrid support.
The locals’ celebrations were sparked by events on the field as Girona beat Zidane’s all-conquering superstars in the first ever meeting between the sides.
“We said before the…

PIQUE REFUSES TO QUIT SPANISH NATIONAL TEAM IN WAKE OF CATALONIA UNREST

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Gerard Pique has vowed not to retire from Spanish duty in an impassioned press conference.
The defender, who tearfully offered his resignation from the Spain team at the weekend amid violence following the Catalan independence referendum, was booed at Spain training.
An image of Pique outside Barca's Camp Nou stadium has been the subject of vandalism, with the large poster, that also features Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez, had graffiti drawn onto it following the uproar over the referendum.The Barcelona defender has insisted it is "impossible" to doubt his commitment to a "family" that he has been a part of since he was a youth player.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Spain's next World Cup Qualifier against Albania, Pique said: "Since the beginning of the situation, to have fans that usually cheer you whistle and insult you, has been very difficult. Pique, though, has now hit back at his critics, insisting that he ha…

PIQUE BOOED AT SPANISH NATIONAL TEAM'S TRAINING

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The defender was booed and insulted by supporters at an open training session in Alicante on Monday but he remains defiant Gerard Pique had been understandably left in a state of despair by the time he faced the press after Barcelona's meeting with Las Palmas at an empty Camp Nou on Saturday. He and his team-mates had been forced by the Professional Football League (LFP) to play a game of football while people trying to vote on Catalan independence were being brutally assaulted by police officers sent by the Spanish government to supress a referendum regarded as illegal. "It’s been a very tough day, probably the toughest since I turned professional," the defender said, fighting back the tears. "But my opinion counts for little." Pique was wrong in that regard, though. His opinion matters, to a lot of people; to those that share his belief that the Catalan people deserve the right to decide whether to remain a part of Spain - and those that don't. Indeed, when Pi…

CATALAN INDEPENDENCE CRISIS

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The crisis in spain is causing a lot of rancour as football lovers would not want the prestigious EL- Classico match-up to become a thing of the past
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