Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has commented on the debate over Catalan independence and the effect it has on the Spanish national team.
Fabregas’ former teammate at Barcelona, Gerard Pique, has recently shown his support for a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum due to take place on November 9, leading to some questioning his loyalty to La Roja.
However, Fabregas, who was born in Arenys de Mar, about 25 miles northeast of Barcelona, says that personally he feels Catalan but supports and wears the Spain shirt.
“I feel Catalan but I’m Spanish, although I understand everything about this as we are a country that likes to debate this issue a lot,” he told Radio Marca.
“There are players who feel Catalan or Basque but in sport we are all Spaniards and are comfortable playing for the national team. We don’t think about being Catalan at the same time because mixing sport and politics is very bad.
“I feel as Catalan as the next man but if you look at my passport it says I’m Spanish. I’m proud to play for my country.
“My conscience is clear knowing who I am and what I want,” declared Fabregas, who was asked if he favoured the forthcoming referendum.
“I think people must vote and be free to show what they think. If that’s what they want they should be able to do so because no damage is done to anyone.
“It’s like what happened in Scotland and people should be able to decide what they want,” he replied.