Pique booed relentlessly by Spanish fans in win

AP Photo/Alberto Saiz
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Spare a thought for Gerard Pique.

Barcelona’s outspoken center back has spoken up for Catalan independence in Spain, and backed Catalonia after police confronted hopeful voters this weekend.

That led to his offering to withdraw from Spanish national team duty, and his being booed by fans at a training session.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

That continued Friday, when Pique should’ve been enjoying Spain clinching a World Cup berth with a controlling 3-0 win over visiting and desperate Albania.

Pique was booed or whistled nearly every time he touched the ball.

To add insult, there were myriad reports Friday that Pique and longtime partner Shakira were splitting up (though these stories are not unusual and have been refuted).