Xavi & Gerard Pique named in Catalonia squad to play friendly vs Venezuela

Barcelona legends Xavi Hernandez and Gerard Pique are set to come out of international retirement to play for Catalonia in the upcoming break.

Catalonia will play a friendly against Venezuela on March 25, with Pique set to make his 10th appearance for the side.

Xavi announced his retirement from the Spain back in August 2014, but is still playing professional football out in Qatar with Al Sadd.

Pique announced his own retirement after the 2018 World Cup at the age of 31.

Catalonia are not officially registered by UEFA or FIFA, but are allowed to partake in friendly matches.

However, there has been controversy in Spain over the matter, with Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid and Huesca all refusing to let any of their players join up with the Catalan side.

Catalonia’s manager Gerard Lopez says he understands the clubs’ decisions, with Watford refusing to let Gerard Deulofeu join up with the squad.

You can see the whole squad picked for the fixture below, per Football Espana.

GOALKEEPERS: Isaac Becerra, Edgar Badia

DEFENDERS: Gerard Pique, Martin Montoya, Marc Bartra, Aleix Vidal, Didac Vila, Marc Muniesa, Marc Cucurella

MIDFIELDERS: Xavi Hernandez, Victor Sanchez, Pere Pons, Oscar Melendo, Joan Jordan, Alex Granell, Oriol Romeu, Aleix Garcia

FORWARDS: Sergio Garcia, Bojan Krkic, Marc Cardona

On the face of it, that’s a pretty good squad to pick from.

The likes of Pique, Bartra, Cucurella and Jordan have all enjoyed impressive domestic seasons.

Catalonia’s game against Venezuela will be the first time they have played a game within FIFA’s official international break window.

Back in the early 2000’s, Catalonia played against the likes of Argentina and Brazil, but their inability to feature during international breaks made it very hard for top-level players to feature.

Whatever the result on March 25, the game will be a historic one for the Catalan people.

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