Pep Guardiola backed Gerard Pique after the defender criticised the Spanish government over its treatment of people trying to vote in the referendum on independence on Sunday.
After polls closed Rajoy made a televised address reiterating that voters had been tricked by Catalonia's political leaders, and that the national police had simply responded in accordance with their orders.
In the run-up to the referendum, La Liga boss Javier Tebas had warned Barcelona that the Catalan club would be expelled if the region seceded. Only about 42% of the region's 5.3 million voters cast ballots, according toReuters. Participants said they were shocked to see the actions of police against unarmed civilians. The ministry said 11 police officers were slightly injured in disturbances.
Spanish authorities have denied accusations of police brutality and claimed that no referendum took place in Spain.
In an editorial, leading Spanish daily El Pais blamed the Catalan government for Sunday's "shameful" events but also criticized the Spanish government for its inability to tackle the crisis since it began about seven years ago.
Relations between Caracas and Madrid deteriorated following the creation of an all-powerful Constitutional Assembly in Venezuela - with Spain pressing the European Union to impose sanctions on Maduro's government.
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