England's friendly against Spain moved from Santiago Bernabeu due to Gerard Pique booing

The Barcelona defender is unpopular with a number of Spanish fans

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Spain have announced that their international friendly against England on November 13 will no longer be played at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, the change of venue has been made because of fears of a hostile reception for Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique in Madrid.

Pique has been subject to boos and whistles from Spanish supporters in the past due to his support of Catalan independence.


The former Manchester United defender's popularity has fallen further still after his exuberant celebrations of Barcelona's title win at the end of last season, during which he ridiculed Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pique was booed once again when Spain took on Slovakia in Oviedo on Saturday in a European Championships qualifying match.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed that the England friendly will now be played at the Jose Rico Perez stadium in Alicante, although no direct reference was made to the Pique situation.

The match will only go ahead if Spain qualify directly for Euro 2016.

A statement from the Spanish FA read: "In the event that Spain qualify directly for Euro 2016, they will face England in an international friendly that will take place at Alicante's Jose Rico Perez stadium on Friday, November 13, using a FIFA date."

The Jose Rico Perez stadium has a 30,000 seating capacity and is the home of Segunda Division B side Hercules CF.

The two countries last met on Spanish soil in February 2009 in Seville, with La Roja winning 2-0.

England became the first team to qualify for next year's tournament in France by beating San Marino 6-0 on Saturday.

Spain lead Group C but are level on 18 points with second-placed Slovakia with three games remaining.

The defending European champions take on FYR Macedonia on Tuesday in Skopje.

Spain host Luxembourg on October 9 and end their qualifying campaign away to Ukraine three days later.

Additional reporting by PA


The Independent has launched a new football app! Live scores, in-game stats, breaking news, videos and push notifications are just some of the many features. Use the links below to download and get more from Indy Football...