Spanish legends Xavi Hernandez and Gerard Pique have officially come out of international retirement in order to represent Catalonia in what has been dubbed the “most important game of the decade”.
The duo who have more than 200 caps for Spain will come out of retirement to play against Venezuela which takes place in Girona on Monday. The pair are not the only top players to be named in the squad, with former Barcelona stars Bojan Krkic, Oriol Romeu, Marc Muniesa, Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya and Aleix Vidal also set to take the field on Monday.
Catalonia who played their first game against a national team in 1912, last played a South American side back in 2009 when they beat a star studded Argentina side in 2006 which included the likes of Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Pastore.
Since they are not recognised by UEFA or FIFA, Catalonia are unable to play competitive games, but that has not stopped them from playing some high profile fixtures in the past. The current squad is predominantly made up of Girona, Espanyol and Eibar players, with the team managed by Gerard Lopez.
Catalonia squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Isaac Becerra (Nástic de Tarragona), Edgar Badía (Elche).
Defenders: Martín Montoya (Brighton), Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Real Betis), Aleix Vidal (Sevilla), Dídac Vila (Espanyol), Marc Cucurella (Eibar), Marc Muniesa (Girona).
Midfielders: Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol), Xavi Hernández (Al Sadd), Pere Pons (Girona), Óscar Melendo (Espanyol), Joan Jordán (Eibar), Alex Granell (Girona), Oriol Romeu (Southampton), Aleix García (Girona).
Forwards: Sergio García (Espanyol), Bojan Krkic (Stoke City), Marc Cardona (Eibar).
Gerard Pique and Xavi have been named in Catalonia's squad to play Venezuela in a friendly. pic.twitter.com/1nsk4ZFkZH
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 20, 2019