Catalonia national football team

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Catalonia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) La Selecció (The Selection),
La Segadora (The Reaper)
Association Catalan Football Federation
Confederation None
Head coach Gerard López
Captain Carles Puyol
Most caps Sergio González (15)
Top scorer Sergio García (7)
Home stadium Camp Nou
First colours
Second colours
First international
France France 7–0 Catalonia Catalonia
(Paris, France; February 21, 1912)
Biggest win
Catalonia Catalonia 5–0 Lithuania Lithuania
(Barcelona, Spain; 22 December 2000)
Catalonia Catalonia 5–0 Nigeria Nigeria
(Barcelona, Spain; 22 December 1998)
Biggest defeat
France France 7–0 Catalonia Catalonia
(Paris, France; February 21, 1912)
Spain Spain 7–0 Catalonia Catalonia
(Les Corts, Spain; March 13, 1924)

The Catalonia national football team is the official football team of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. It is organised by the Catalan Football Federation. The team has been referred to by various names including Selecció Catalana, Selecció de Barcelona and the Catalan XI. Catalonia is not affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA and is therefore not allowed to participate in either the FIFA World Cup or the European Championship because the Spanish region of Catalonia is not a state. Catalan players are full Spanish citizens who are eligible to play for Spain. However since 1904, the team has played nearly 200 games against various national, regional and club teams.[1] Since 1997 they have played international friendly games more regularly. Among the teams they have played are Nigeria, Brazil and Argentina. Recent friendly games include a 4–2 win over Argentina at Camp Nou in December 2009,[2] and a 4–0 win over Honduras in December 2010. Their most recent friendly game was played in Cornellà-El Prat against opponents Nigeria in January 2013. The game finished in a 1-1 draw and concluded Dutch great Johan Cruyff's stint as coach of the Catalonia national selection.

History[edit]

First games[edit]

Catalonia national football team made their debut in 1904. Initially they played against various club teams such as Club Espanyol, Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Irún Sporting Club. On February 2, 1912 they made their international friendly debut against France, losing 7–0 in Paris. The team was: Reñé, Irízar, Amecharruza, Alemany, Peris, Armet, Forns, Rodríguez, Comamala, Morales and Ramiro. On December 1, 1912 the two teams met again in Barcelona and this time the Catalans won 1–0. In 1914 the Catalan XI played the Basque Country XI for the first time, but there is no record of the result .[3] The first recorded game between the two teams took place on January 3, 1915 at San Mamés Stadium. The Catalan XI lost 6–1.[4] That year, the Catalan XI became the first football team to record and release a single that reached the top of the music pop charts. Records of the song were lost during the Spanish Civil War as General Franco saw it as a symbol of open rebellion.

Copa Príncep d'Astúries[edit]

Between 1915 and 1926 the Catalan XI competed in an inter-regional competition. They finished as runners-up in 1915 and won the Copa Príncep d'Astúries for the first time in 1916, beating a Castile XI 8–5 over two games. They then retained the trophy in 1917 after beating the Castile XI 2–0. During the 1920s a team featuring Josep Samitier, Paulino Alcántara, Sagibarba and Ricardo Zamora helped the Catalan XI win the competition in 1922, 1924 and 1926. The last competition in 1926 was a play-off between the two teams who had won the competition the most. The Catalans beat an Asturias XI 6–3 over two games.

As well as playing other regional teams from throughout Spain and Europe, the 1920s also saw the Catalan XI play several internationals friendly matches. On March 13, 1924 at the Les Corts, the Catalan XI played Spain for the first time. The Spain XI included Josep Samitier and Ricardo Zamora, two of the best Catalan players of the era while the Catalan XI featured Paulino Alcántara and Sagibarba. Samiter scored twice as the Spain XI won 7–0. On December 13, 1925 Samitier, Zamora, Alcántara and Sagibarba were on the same side as the Catalan XI beat Czechoslovakia at the Sarria. After conceding a penalty and going down 1–0, Sagibarba then equalised with another penalty before Samitier clinched a 2–1 win. On July 7, 1926 the Catalan XI played Czechoslovakia in Prague. Despite Samitier putting the Catalans 1–0 ahead, they eventually lost 2–1.

Catalonia vs Brazil[edit]

During the 1930s Catalonia continued playing friendly games against an array of teams. However 1934 was a particularly good year. On February 2 they played Spain and lost 2–0 at Les Corts. However four months later they played Brazil twice. On June 17 the Catalan XI beat Brazil 2–1 at Les Corts and then on June 24 they held them to a 2–2 draw at the Vista Alegre in Girona. The Brazil team had been in Europe to play in the official 1934 FIFA World Cup and included the legendary Leônidas in their team. The Catalan XI completed a good month when on June 29 they beat the reigning official La Liga champions, Athletic Bilbao 5–1.

The Franco era[edit]

After the Spanish Civil War, the dictator Franco imposed several restrictions on Catalonia, abolishing the Generalitat de Catalunya and banning the official use of the Catalan language and the Catalan flag. However the Catalan XI continued to play regularly during this period and even played Spain twice. On October 19, 1947 at the Sarrià, with a team featuring Velasco, Marià Gonzalvo, Joan Segarra and César, they beat Spain 3–1. However on August 9, 1953 Spain avenged this defeat with a 6–0 win.

During this era several notable FC Barcelona players, including the Spanish players like Laszlo Kubala, Luis Suárez, Evaristo and later, Jesús María Pereda, all guested for the Catalan XI. On January 26, 1955 in a friendly game against Bologna at Les Corts, Kubala was also joined by another guest player, Alfredo Di Stéfano. The Catalan XI won 6–2 with two goals from Kubala and one from Di Stéfano. On September 1, 1956 Di Stéfano returned to Les Corts with Real Madrid, recent winners of the first official European Cup, and played a Selecció de Barcelona. Real won the game 7–3.

The Catalan XI marked the end of the Franco era with a friendly game against the USSR at the Camp Nou on June 6, 1976. The team included Carles Rexach and guest Netherlands players Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens. The game finished 1–1 with Neeskens scoring for the Catalan XI. Cruyff's son, Jordi, would subsequently play regularly for the Catalan XI.

Democratic era[edit]

Catalonia vs Basque Country team playing in Camp Nou

Since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s, the Catalonia national team has regularly played international friendly matches. They subsequently put together a string of successful results against great economic countries like Bulgaria, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Lithuania and Chile. On May 5, 2002 Catalonia hosted Brazil in a warm up friendly game before the official 2002 FIFA World Cup. Brazil, who went on to win the official competition, beat Catalonia 3–1. In 2004 Brazil returned for a second friendly game and this time won 5–2 in the Camp Nou, where some months later Argentina defeated Catalonia 3–0. The last friendly matches have been against Paraguay, Costa Rica, Basque Country, Argentina and Colombia.

Johan Cruyff's era[edit]

On 2 November 2009, it was announced that Dutch legend and former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff will be the new coach of Catalonia.[5][5]

On 22 December 2009, they played a friendly against Argentina, which ended in a Catalonia win, 4–2 at Camp Nou.

On 28 December 2010, Catalonia played another friendly against Honduras winning 4–0 at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.[6]

On 30 December 2011, Catalonia played Tunisia in a goalless draw at Lluís Companys Stadium.[7]

In their last game under Cruyff on 2 January 2013, Catalonia drew with Nigeria at the Cornellà-El Prat with 1–1.[8]

Post-Cruyff era[edit]

Former player Gerard López was appointed new coach for the Catalan team for 2 years. His first match with the team takes place on 30 December against Cape Verde in the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.[9]

History of matches[edit]

Date Venue Home Team Visitor Score
Dec. 30 2013 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Cape Verde 4–1
Jan. 2 2013 Cornellà-El Prat, Cornellà de Llobregat Catalonia Catalonia  Nigeria 1–1
Dec. 30 2011 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Tunisia 0–0
Dec. 28 2010 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Honduras 4–0
Dec. 22 2009 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Argentina 4–2
Dec. 28 2008 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Colombia 2–1
May 24, 2008 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Argentina 0–1
Dec. 29 2007 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 1–1
Oct. 8 2006 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 2–2
May 24, 2006 Olímpic de Terrassa, Terrassa Catalonia Catalonia  Costa Rica 2–0
Dec. 28 2005 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia Paraguay Paraguay 1–1
Dec. 29 2004 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Argentina 0–3
May 25, 2004 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Brazil 2–5
Dec. 28 2003 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Ecuador 4–0
Dec. 28 2002 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  China PR 2–0
May 18, 2002 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Brazil 1–3
Dec. 28 2001 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Chile 1–0
Dec. 22 2000 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Lithuania 5–0
Dec. 23 1999 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Yugoslavia 1–0
Dec. 22 1998 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Nigeria 5–0
Dec. 23 1997 Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Bulgaria 1–1
June 6, 1976 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Soviet Union 1–1
Feb. 21 1971 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 1–2
Aug. 9 1953 Galileu, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Spain 0–6
Oct. 19 1947 Sarrià, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Spain 3–1
June 24, 1934 Vista Alegre, Girona Catalonia Catalonia  Brazil 2–2
June 17, 1934 Les Corts, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Brazil 2–1
Feb. 2 1934 Les Corts, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Spain 0–2
Jan. 1 1931 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 3–2
June 8, 1930 Montjuïc, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 0–1
July 7, 1926 Sparta, Prague  Czechoslovakia Catalonia Catalonia 2–1
Dec. 13 1925 Sarrià, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Czechoslovakia 2–1
Mar. 13 1924 Les Corts, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Spain 0–7
Apr. 4 1921 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Provence 1–0
Apr. 3 1921 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Provence 4–0
June 4, 1916 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 5–0
May 22, 1916 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 0–0
May 21, 1916 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 1–3
May 13, 1915 Athletic, Madrid  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 1–0
Feb. 7 1915 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 2–2
Jan. 3 1915 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 6–1
Dec. 1 1912 Camp de la Indústria, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  France 1–0
Feb. 20 1912 Colombes, Paris  France Catalonia Catalonia 7–0

Results and fixtures[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the match against Cape Verde on 30 December 2013.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jordi Codina (1982-04-27) 27 April 1982 (age 32) 4 0 Spain Getafe
13 1GK Kiko Casilla (1986-01-02) 2 January 1986 (age 28) 4 0 Spain Espanyol
11 2DF Joan Capdevila (1978-02-03) 3 February 1978 (age 36) 10 0 India North East United
3 2DF Gerard Piqué (1987-02-02) 2 February 1987 (age 27) 7 0 Spain Barcelona
15 2DF Marc Bartra (1991-01-15) 15 January 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Spain Barcelona
2 2DF Martín Montoya (1991-04-14) 14 April 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Spain Barcelona
18 2DF Jordi Alba (1989-03-21) 21 March 1989 (age 25) 2 0 Spain Barcelona
4 2DF Marc Valiente (1987-03-20) 20 March 1987 (age 27) 1 0 Spain Valladolid
17 2DF Víctor Álvarez (1993-03-14) 14 March 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Espanyol
16 3MF Sergio Busquets (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 26) 6 0 Spain Barcelona
10 3MF Cesc Fàbregas (1987-05-04) 4 May 1987 (age 27) 3 0 England Chelsea
21 3MF Sergi Roberto (1992-08-21) 21 August 1992 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Barcelona
6 3MF Víctor Sánchez (1987-09-08) 8 September 1987 (age 26) 2 0 Spain Espanyol
5 3MF Jordi Xumetra (1985-10-24) 24 October 1985 (age 28) 1 0 Spain Levante
8 3MF Aleix Vidal (1989-08-21) 21 August 1989 (age 24) 1 0 Spain Sevilla
14 3MF David López (1989-10-09) 9 October 1989 (age 24) 1 0 Spain Espanyol
12 3MF Oriol Rosell (1992-07-07) 7 July 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Portugal Sporting CP
7 4FW Sergio García (1983-06-09) 9 June 1983 (age 31) 11 7 Spain Espanyol
9 4FW Bojan Krkić (1990-08-28) 28 August 1990 (age 23) 7 6 England Stoke City
20 4FW Piti (1981-05-26) 26 May 1981 (age 33) 4 0 Spain Granada
22 4FW Cristian Tello (1991-08-11) 11 August 1991 (age 23) 2 0 Portugal Porto
19 4FW Oriol Riera (1986-07-03) 3 July 1986 (age 28) 1 1 England Wigan Athletic

Recent callups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team in the last two years.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Víctor Valdés (1982-01-14) 14 January 1982 (age 32) 12 0 Unattached
2DF Andreu Fontàs (1989-11-14) 14 November 1989 (age 24) 2 0 Spain Celta
2DF Jordi Amat (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 22) 2 0 Wales Swansea City
2DF Raúl Rodríguez (1987-09-22) 22 September 1987 (age 26) 1 0 Spain Espanyol
2DF Dídac Vilà (1989-06-09) 9 June 1989 (age 25) 1 0 Italy Milan
2DF Sergio Juste (1992-01-12) 12 January 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Barcelona
3MF Joan Verdú (1983-05-05) 5 May 1983 (age 31) 9 2 Unattached
3MF Javi Márquez (1986-05-11) 11 May 1986 (age 28) 1 0 Spain Granada
3MF Sergio Tejera (1990-05-28) 28 May 1990 (age 24) 1 0 Spain Alavés
3MF Albert Puigdollers (1980-10-30) 30 October 1980 (age 33) 1 0 Spain Badalona
4FW Ferran Corominas (1983-01-05) 5 January 1983 (age 31) 8 1 Spain Elche
4FW Jonathan Soriano (1985-09-24) 24 September 1985 (age 28) 4 1 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
4FW Álvaro Vázquez (1991-04-27) 27 April 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Spain Getafe
4FW Isaac Cuenca (1991-04-27) 27 April 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Spain Deportivo

Notable players[edit]

Catalan-born players[edit]

Guest players[edit]

Because Catalonia is not a member of either UEFA or FIFA due to it being a region of Spain, obvious eligibility rules based on birthplace do not apply. As a result of unofficial friendly team, a number of players who were not born in Catalonia have guested for the Catalan XI. With the notable exception of Alfredo Di Stéfano, most were playing for FC Barcelona at the time. Notice that some players, as Andrés Iniesta or Jordi Cruyff had lived most of their lives (and childhood) in Catalonia. Some others, as Sagibarba or Paulino Alcántara had Catalan ancestors (for example: Alcántara was the son of a Catalan military officer in the Spanish Philippines and moved to Barcelona after the Spanish–American War as a child).

Selected coaches[edit]

Honours[edit]

  • Copa Príncep d'Astúries
    • Winners 1916. 1917, 1922, 1924, 1926: 5
    • Runners-Up 1915: 1

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ esportcatala.com[dead link]
  2. ^ "4–2: Catalunya suma un triunfo de prestigio frente a Argentina" (in spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 22 December 2009. 
  3. ^ fcbarcelona.com[dead link]
  4. ^ "Vasconia-Cataluña". Mundo Deportivo, 4/1/1915. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Cruyff will coach Catalonia team". BBC News. 2 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Catalonia defeats Honduras". La Prensa.hn (Honduran national newspaper). 29/12/2010.
  7. ^ "Catalonia draws with Tunisia". El Periódico de Catalunya (Catalionian newspaper) 31/12/2011.
  8. ^ "Catalunya empata con Nigeria en la despedida de Cruyff.". ElPeriodico.com. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Catalunya jugará contra Cabo Verde el 30 de diciembre". Lavanguardia.com. 15 November 2013. 

External links[edit]