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What happens to Spain's football team if Catalonia breaks away?

First Post

So, Catalonia might secede from Spain. This is of course massive political and economic news. But the central question here - one thankfully addressed by First Post - is what would happen to Spain's all-conquering football team were the Catalans (i.e. Barcelona) to break away?

While the line-up wouldn't include Real Madrid stars like goalkeeper Iker Casillas and right-back Sergio Ramos, the trio of Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas could form the spine of a Catalan midfield, backed up by the formidable pairing of Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol in defence.

Players who have spent a large portion of their careers at Barcelona would also be eligible, so that means Andres Iniesta - raised in Barcelona's academy - would have a tough choice to make.

Of course, no date has been set for a referendum: President Artur Mas, leader of the most influential separatist party, hopes to force one through within the next four years - a time frame that would leave many current Catalan stars too old to play.

But with Barcelona's La Masia youth teams a production-line for Spain's nimblest talent, the creation of a Catalan nation would deprive the World and European Cup holders of vital young blood.

One person who'll be biting his nails come referendum day - Spain manager Vicente del Bosque

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