Catalan referendum: From Gerard Pique to Keita Balde - how could a Catalonia XI line up?

From Gerard Pique to Cesc Fabregas, Catalonia would field quite the side

Monday 02 October 2017 13:13 BST

Catalan-born players such as Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Xavi played key roles as Spain became the world's dominant footballing force with victories at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Now, following Sunday's Catalonia independence referendum - where voters were asked whether they wish Catalonia to become an independent republic from Spain - the international futures of players from the region could be cast into the spotlight.

Indeed, Pique notably said he would have no qualms in turning his back on the Spanish national side if the country’s governing football body judged the defender to be a “problem” in light of his pro-Catalonia independence views.

Speaking in the wake of Barcelona's 3-0 win over Las Palmas, which was played behind closed doors after the request for it to be postponed amid violent disturbances in Barcelona was rejected, said he would be prepared to step down from international duty.

“If the Spain manager or the Spanish FA think I'm a problem then I have no problem in stepping aside and leaving the team.”

Catalonia already boast a representative side, which has been playing matches for over a century but is not a member of either Fifa or Uefa, and here we take a look at how a first XI of locally-born players could line up.

See the gallery above for our Catalonia XI.

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