Football

Xavi and Pique Come Out of International Retirement to Play For Catalonia

Xavi and Pique Come Out of International Retirement to Play For Catalonia

Barcelona legends Xavi and Gerard Pique have both come out of international retirement in order to play for Catalonia next week.

Both players have enjoyed stellar international careers having played a crucial role in delivering Spain’s first and only World Cup triumph in South Africa in 2010, as well as the European Championship triumphs of 2008 and 2012.

However, because Catalan isn’t recognised as an official competitive country by FIFA or UEFA, players can represent both regions, as the pair will do in Monday’s friendly against Venezuela.

Both men have played for Catalonia previously, with Pique set to make his 10th appearance and Xavi on course for his 12th, despite his 40th birthday looming on the horizon later this year.

Regarded as one of the best players of his generation, Xavi officially retired from international football in 2014 but has been playing club football for Qatar outfit Al Sadd since leaving Barcelona in 2015, whilst Pique stop playing for Spain last year.

The likes of Sevilla’s Aleix Vidal, Southampton’s Oriol Romeu and Stoke City’s Bojan Krkic have also been called-up, whilst active Spain international Marc Bartra is also in line to play.

Do you think Catalonia should be granted their own official FIFA status?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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