‘Catalonia & La Liga need each other’

Espanyol President Joan Collet has claimed that his club and Barcelona “can't afford not to participate in the Spanish League” and vice versa.

Catalonia's relationship with Spain has been revisited this week following the boos directed at Barca defender Gerard Pique – known for his pro-independence stance – while representing La Roja, but Collet believes politics and football should not be mixed up.

“Espanyol aren't pro-independence and will never be in politics. We're neither right nor left [on the political spectrum],” he told Radio 4G.

“Barca and Espanyol can't afford not to participate in the Spanish League and the League can't afford not to have them.

“We only have 24 players in our squad because we retired the No 21 jersey in memory of Dani Jarque.

“We have a very competitive team who will demand a lot from Real Madrid [on Saturday].”

Tags Catalona Gerard Pique Joan Collet