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Puyol, Guardiola and Rexach: Introducing All-Time Catalan 10
Catalan independence became one of the hotly debated issues this week with the referendum vote being casted last weekend.
A democratic process branded illegal by the Spanish government brought back the memories of General Franco’s repression as police hit the streets to prevent people from voting. As a result, close to one thousand people were injured in clashes as this political issue spilt over to football as well.
The Catalan bannermen of freedom – FC Barcelona – found themselves in the epicentre of the story with La Liga forcing them to play the Las Palmas match despite the ongoing street troubles on the day of the vote.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was unable to hold back tears after the match when he proclaimed his dedication to the Catalan cause, at the same time making himself even more hated by the Spanish supporters who booed him in Spain training.
The Catalan issue raised a couple of big football questions and made us think of what the Catalan team would look like if FIFA would approve the Catalan national team as an independent side.
The Catalan National Team
It would, undoubtedly, be a highly-competitive team comprised of some quality players, knowing that Catalans have played to play a big part in the Spanish team in recent times.
The Spanish national team has served the total of 41 players with a national team call-up during the past year. Six of them are Catalan – Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Gerrard Deulofeu.
Interestingly enough, six was the number of Basque players called up during the last twelve months as well – Kepa Arrizabalaga (LINK), Cesar Azpilicueta, Asier Illaramendi, Ander Herrera, Inigo Martinez and Aritz Aduriz.
Football and Politics – The Catalan Issue Puts Barcelona In Spotlight
Video: Leo Messi delivers when most needed, celebrates deservedly
Argentina main man Leo Messi was the subject of intense criticism over the past couple of days as his country got on the verge of missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
People laid into the Barcelona star after the goalless draw against Peru but Messi responded brilliantly in Ecuador.
The Argentine forward bagged a hat-trick in his country’s 3-1 victory last night to singlehandedly take his team to Russia.
His brilliant performance is summed up in a couple of minutes right here in this video.
Messi was understandably happy after the match and you can see him here celebrating with his teammates in the locker room.