Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova has refused to comment on whether the club should become a beacon for Catalan independence.

A demonstration of over a million people marched in Barcelona this week to protest at the north-east region's continuing presence in Spain, but the Blaugrana boss has declined to comment on the football club's role, preferring to focus instead on the game against Getafe this weekend.

“That may happen in the future,” he told AS. “If it does happen, then we'll talk about it. A peaceful demonstration over a million and a half people must be taken into account. We live in a democracy, and if people are not happy, you have to respect them.

“People can express themselves however they want, as long as it's peaceful. But Getafe want to beat us regardless of the political issues.

“Our goal is to take each game as it comes. We are not thinking of Real Madrid, just Getafe and then the Champions League. Thinking about anything else is useless.

“The game is an important one for us. It is a place where we have been poor of late. Against us they are usually tight at the back and make us feel uncomfortable.”

The 42-year-old also remarked on the current fitness of his squad, after the players' returned from the recent international break.

“David Villa is ready to play. Everyday he is looking better.

“Alexis Sanchez has come back injured. He carries a lot of pressure in that Chile team, and is now injured. Players have left us and come back hurt, and it forces you to change your plans. I think FIFA are killing us. The virus is winning.

“I spoke to Messi this morning and he told me that he has recovered well. We will speak again tomorrow and decide what to do.

Vilanova concluded by playing down the five-point gap his side have gained over Real already this season.

“It it too soon to talk about advantages. We have nine points, they have four, but that is nothing.”

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