Catalonia, the autonomous community located in the eastern extremity of Spain with Barcelona serving as the capital and largest city, has advocated for its independence since the Spanish Civil War. With some political and cultural autonomy, as well as prevalent use of the Catalan language, it's followed suite that the region has its own national football team.
However, Catalonia is not affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA, disqualifying them from participating in the World Cup or European Championship.
Limited to international friendlies, it’s difficult to judge how successful the side has been or would be. But that didn’t stop Xavi from telling reporters that “the Catalan national team would be among the best 10 or 15 sides in the world. This national team is a true reflection of the level you can currently find in Catalan sport. There’s no doubt that we are a power in a number of different specialities.”
Now, the man appeared 133 times for Spain, winning a FIFA World Cup, two European Championships and an Olympic silver medal, so he probably knows what he’s talking about. But is this just national pride talking?
Let’s put his theory to the test by building a starting XI out of recent Catalonia call ups AND HOLY S*** LOOK AT THAT. With a population of 7,565,603 (roughly the same as Washington), that’s not bad at all.
Also, they’d have substitutes from the likes of Jonathan Soriano, Martin Montoya, Oriol Riera, Victor Alvarez, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Masip. Meanwhile, the United States, with a population of 318.9 million...
Related: This Video Proves Xavi Is Still The Hardest Working Man In Football