Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago Alcantara all scored inside the first 30 minutes in Alicante as the 2010 world champion locked up top spot in Group G as Italy was surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Macedonia in Turin.

The midfielder backed Pique a day later, but said it was inevitable his team mate would face the wrath of some supporters against Albania.

It'll be the 15th World Cup appearance for Spain, qualifying to every one of them since 1978.

Barcelona's Gerrard Pique received a mixed response in the stadium as he made his 92nd global appearance just after casting his vote in a referendum on Catalan independence, which was deemed illegal by the Spanish govt. Pique is being supported by his side, but has been on the receiving end of boos throughout the week.

"As a Spaniard, I don't like what's happening, but let's hope it all gets resolved quickly and we can get back to living in a free democracy and enjoying sports, which is what makes us all happy".

Ramos and Pique, who play for rival clubs Madrid and Barca, have feuded in the past but are now on good terms.

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Albania were not expected to threaten Spain much, and early on, the match was one-way traffic.

Iceland stayed on the path to becoming the smallest nation to qualify for the World Cup after beating Turkey 3-0 in Group I. "We are delighted and proud of what we have achieved because it's very important for Spain".

"They are a good team who we felt would arrive with a desire to play well, we had to be prepared to keep the ball on the floor and ignore the emotions surrounding qualification".

"You can see their quality".

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic had leveled on 83 minutes before Schaub's victor, but Serbia can still advance by defeating Georgia in their final qualifier in Belgrade Monday.

But, given the disparity in quality between the two teams, Spain's vastly superior goal difference and head-to-head advantage over Italy, the spotlight was always likely to be on Barcelona defender Pique.

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