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What A Catalonia XI Could Look Like

Spain could lose some high-profile players if Catalonia gain independence. Here is what a Catalonia XI could look like.

Click through the gallery above to see how a Catalonia XI could line up.

There has been plenty of drama around the Catalonia referendum, with FC Barcelona opting to play behind closed doors amid violent clashes between Spanish police and Catalan voters on Sunday.

With the focus on international fixtures this week, Gerard Pique, an outspoken pro-Catalonia supporter, finds himself in hot water. On Monday, Spain's public training session had to be cut short after the Barcelona star was insulted by some of the fans.

Some suggested that Pique might consider retiring from the Spanish national team, but he has explained why that is not an option.

"From the age of 15 I have considered this a family: that's one of the reasons I'm here," he said during a press conference, as quoted by The Guardian.

"My commitment to the national team is maximum. I feel very proud to be here. I have thought about (leaving) and I think the best thing is to stay.

"Going would mean that those people have won, those who think the best solution is to whistle and insult. I'm not going to give them that satisfaction."

The Catalan defender was also asked whether or not he would choose to represent Catalonia rather than Spain if the region gains its independence.

"I imagine it would be a process of three or four years, like Brexit," he answered.

"I'll be 33, so I haven't really thought about it."

But which players could opt to represent Catalonia (only players born in the Catalan region of Spain eligible)?

In goal, Real Madrid second choice keeper Kiko Casilla would be the likely choice after former FC Barcelona shot-stopper Victor Valdes retired ahead of the current campaign.

The back four could be made up of Hector Bellerin, Pique, Marc Bartra and Jordi Alba, while the midfield could see Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Cesc Fabregas choose Catalonia over Spain, and Xavi Hernandez could return from his international retirement.

Up front, Keita Balde, who currently represents Senegal, could opt to play for his birth region, while former FC Barcelona starlet Bojan Krkic, now playing for Alaves, could also be called up. The coach could be outspoken independence supporter Pep Guardiola. 

Read: 8 Players Who Could Leave Spain For Catalonia

At this present moment in time, Catalonia is not affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA, and therefore the existing Catalan XI, which consists of lesser-known players, only play friendlies.

*Note: If Catalonia does gain independence and is accepted by FIFA, football's governing body would still need to decide whether or not Catalan-born players who have represented other countries will be allowed to switch their allegiances to Catalonia.

Do you think Catalonia's independence would weaken the Spain national team? Have your say in the comments section below.

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