Gerard Pique won't be affected by boos from Spain fans - Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara says Spain teammate Gerard Pique is accustomed to dealing with "hostile treatment" by fans and does not believe the Barcelona defender will be affected if, as expected, he hears boos during Friday's World Cup qualifier against Albania in Alicante.

Pique, who supports the idea of Catalan independence, voted in Sunday's referendum, which was deemed illegal by the Spanish government.

A tearful Pique said last week that he was open to leaving the Spain national team because of the political climate in Catalonia.

"Pique has played at [Real Madrid's Santiago] Bernabeu stadium many times and he is used to hostile environments," Thiago is quoted as saying by AS.

Thiago, who played for four seasons alongside Pique at Barcelona before his transfer to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013, enjoys having the 30-year-old centre-back as a teammate.

"He always has the same attitude," he said. "I've enjoyed him as a player and as a teammate and I'm delighted to continue to do so."

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has told the players to focus on football ahead of their final World Cup qualifiers, something that Thiago agrees with.

Spain are three points clear of Italy at the top of Group G heading into Friday's game and end their qualifying campaign three days later in Israel.

Thiago said: "We have to play football and not talk. We don't talk about politics, the personal opinions and debates you take them home. We only talk about football. That's what we are here for. Here we are all rowing in one direction."

Pique was jeered by some fans during Monday's open training session and AS reported this week that the player could leave the national team before Friday's encounter.

However, Marca reported on Wednesday that Pique has no intention of retiring from international football this week.

Former Spain international Marcos Senna believes Pique should also just concentrate on his football.

A Euro 2008 winner with La Roja, Senna told Marca Radio: "If he wants to continue going to the national team, I would recommend Pique to speak as little as possible to avoid complicating his life because nowadays everything becomes a controversy."

Former Spain international Donato, who was also born in Brazil and played at Euro '96, has criticised Pique's stance.

He is quoted as saying by El Pais: "I have a Spanish passport and if I say that tomorrow I don't want to be Spanish, then how am I going to wear the national team jersey? I would be throwing stones at my own roof.

"When Pique said that there are players that have a Spanish passport but are not born in Spain and have no love for the jersey, he should speak for himself.

"He cannot include me or Marcos Senna, who are not born in Spain but defended the Spanish jersey. I'm proud to be Spanish, I never forgot my origins, but I'm honoured to have represented Spain and to be treated as well as I am here."