Barcelona's defender from Spain Gerard Pique warms up before the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs UD Las Palmas at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 1, 2017. / AFP / JOSE JORDAN
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Barcelona star Gerard Pique's tears of sadness and the vast empty stands as his team reluctantly played were two of the defining images of a violence-scarred independence referendum in Catalonia.Barca had appealed to La Liga to postpone the game. However, when the football and security authorities refused to do so, the club feared a potential six-point penalty if they refused to fulfil the fixture.Pique said Rajoy was not up to the job of leading Spain.Despite forming a crucial part of the Spain sides that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, Pique is routinely jeered when representing his country.Fellow World Cup winners and former Barca greats Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez also backed the right to vote Sunday.
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