Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis believes that Gerard Pique, his counterpart at FC Barcelona is right to speak his mind publicly, especially in regards to the recent Catalan independence referendum.
Luis, 32, added that more footballers should aspire to be like the controversial Spanish International, who had often made headlines in recent weeks in respect to his support for the disputed independence vote.
Spanish football fans had went so far as to jeer Pique during an open training session while away on international duty, with sections of their support questioning his commitment to Spain. However, Luis, who will face Pique when Barca visits Atletico in La Liga on Saturday, has come out in support of the former Manchester United youngster’s attitude.
“I am a fan of Pique, although I often disagree with what he says,” he said. “But he dares, like [Alvaro] Arbeloa. They are people who are not afraid to say what they think, who do not hide behind their fame.”
“They are admirable and hopefully more footballers will be like them.”
Nonetheless, Brazilian international Luis — who had spent most of his footballing career in Spain — cannot fathom the Catalonian desire to split from the country.
“It [the referendum] is a subject that I follow daily and I cannot understand,” he added. “I respect it, but in a world that tends to unite and open frontiers, it doesn’t sound right to me that a community wants to close itself.”
“I guess it’s because I have the vision of a Brazilian and in Brazil, with all its flaws, if the national anthem sounds, people are proud. Left, right, it does not matter. People are proud of being Brazilian and something I cannot understand is why that doesn’t happen here [in Spain].”
“Why do you want to separate? What do you think will be better?”