Xavi claims Catalonia would be in Top 10 footballing countries if allowed to compete
What’s the story?
FC Barcelona legend, Xavi Hernandez believes that the current Catalonia international football team would be amongst the top 10 eams in the world if they are allowed to take part in the competitions held by FIFA. Xavi insists that Catalonia has some exceptionally talented players in its ranks and has the ability to be a world-class team.
Although Barcelona stars, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique missed the game between Tunisia and Catalonia in Girona, their fellow Catalan’s Gerard Moreno, Marc Roca along with Sergi Roberto and Jordi Masip did play in Wednesday’s 3-3 draw. 36-year-old Xavi has represented Catalonia 12 times so far in his career and did not rule out the possibility of managing the side in the near future.
"You never know. You can never close any door," he added. "It's very early to start making predictions but it's one of the ideas, coming home to coach in Barcelona, in Catalonia. It's my home and I feel very comfortable there.
"I always feel happy when I return home and it's a source of genuine pride to play for the national team.
In case you didn’t know...
Catalonia is an autonomous community in the northeast region of Spain and has been demanding independence since the civil war in Spain. Due to its cultural and political autonomy, Catalonia has its very own national football team.
The region is to hold a referendum in September next year regarding its independence disregarding the Spanish government’s approval. This can only mean that the Catalonia national football team will soon be recognised as a new addition to the governing body of the world games.
The heart of the matter
Limited to only playing international friendlies, it remains to see if Catalonia will ever be affiliated to either UEFA or FIFA. The team cannot participate in the European championship nor the World Cup until they are recognised by these governing bodies. Catalonia boasts of a formidable line-up of footballers that include Bojan Krkic, Christian Tello, Sergi Roberto, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Marc Bartra, Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes.
Xavi insists that the Catalans have their own style of play and that it truly belongs to them having learnt from the like of Pep Guardiola and johan Cruyff.
"We played our own football, always attacking, enjoying having the ball, looking to entertain. In short, what is genuinely ours, what we have learned from teachers like Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola."
Catalonia have been struggling for independence since the Spanish Cvil War started in 1936. With a talented group of footballers hailing from the region, Europe and the World might get a new contender in world football if they the Catalans are recognised by FIFA and UEFA.Published 31 Dec 2016, 17:30 IST