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 Sergio García
Most caps Sergio (15)
Top scorer Sergio García (8)
Home stadium Camp Nou
First colours
Second colours
Elo ranking
Current 14 (10 June 2016)
Highest 7 (December 2010)
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. Catalan players are full Spanish citizens who are eligible to play for Spain.

Since 1904, the team has played nearly 200 games against various national, regional and club teams.[1] International friendly games have been played more regularly since 1997. 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.

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 2 February 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 1 December 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 3 January 1915 at San Mamés Stadium; the Catalan XI lost 6–1.[4]

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 13 March 1924, at the Camp de 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 13 December 1925, Samitier, Zamora, Alcántara and Sagibarba were on the same side as the Catalan XI beat Czechoslovakia at the Estadi de Sarrià. After conceding a penalty and going down 1–0, Sagibarba then equalised with another penalty before Samitier clinched a 2–1 win. On 7 July 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; 1934 was a particularly good year. On 2 February, they played Spain and lost 2–0 at Les Corts. Four months later, they played Brazil twice. On 17 June, the Catalan XI beat Brazil 2–1 at Les Corts and then on 24 June, 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, dictator Francisco Franco imposed several restrictions on Catalonia, abolishing the Generalitat de Catalunya and banning the official use of the Catalan language and the Catalan flag. Despite these restrictions, the Catalan XI continued to play regularly during this period and even played Spain twice. On 19 October 1947, at the Sarrià and with a team featuring Juan Velasco, Marià Gonzalvo, Joan Segarra and César, they beat Spain 3–1. On 9 August 1953, Spain avenged this defeat with a 6–0 win.

During this era, several notable Barcelona players, including the Spanish players László Kubala, Luis Suárez, Evaristo and later Jesús María Pereda, played for the Catalan XI. On 26 January 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 1 September 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 Soviet Union at the Camp Nou on 6 June 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 5 May 2002, Catalonia hosted Brazil in a warm up friendly game before the official 2002 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 at 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 era[edit]

On 2 November 2009, it was announced that Dutch legend and former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff would 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 the Lluís Companys.[7]

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

Post-Cruyff era[edit]

Former player Gerard was appointed new coach for the Catalan team for two years. His first match with the team took place on 30 December 2013 against Cape Verde at the Olímpic Lluís Companys.[9]

Match history[edit]

Date Venue Home Team Visitor Score
Dec. 26 2015 Camp Nou, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia  Basque Country 0–1
Dec. 28 2014 San Mamés, Bilbao  Basque Country Catalonia Catalonia 1–1
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
Apr. 24 1993 [10] Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona Catalonia Catalonia The Best Foreign footballers in La Liga 4–4
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 the Basque Country on 26 December 2015.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jordi Masip (1989-01-03) 3 January 1989 (age 27) 2 0 Spain Barcelona
13 1GK Pau (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Espanyol

2 2DF Martín Montoya (1991-04-14) 14 April 1991 (age 25) 5 0 Spain Betis
3 2DF Gerard Piqué (1987-02-02) 2 February 1987 (age 29) 9 0 Spain Barcelona
4 2DF Dídac Vilà (1989-06-09) 9 June 1989 (age 27) 2 0 Greece AEK Athens
12 2DF Alberto de la Bella (1985-12-02) 2 December 1985 (age 30) 3 0 Spain Real Sociedad
15 2DF Marc Bartra (1991-01-15) 15 January 1991 (age 25) 5 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund
18 2DF Jordi Alba (1989-03-21) 21 March 1989 (age 27) 5 0 Spain Barcelona
22 2DF Aleix Vidal (1989-08-21) 21 August 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Spain Barcelona

5 3MF Sergio Busquets (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 28) 8 0 Spain Barcelona
6 3MF Joan Verdú (1983-05-05) 5 May 1983 (age 33) 10 2 Spain Levante
8 3MF Javi Márquez (1986-05-11) 11 May 1986 (age 30) 2 0 Spain Granada
10 3MF Piti (1981-05-26) 26 May 1981 (age 35) 6 1 Spain Rayo Vallecano
11 3MF Víctor Álvarez (1993-03-14) 14 March 1993 (age 23) 3 0 Spain Espanyol
16 3MF Víctor Rodríguez (1989-07-23) 23 July 1989 (age 27) 1 0 Spain Getafe
19 3MF David López (1989-10-09) 9 October 1989 (age 26) 1 0 Italy Napoli
20 3MF Sergi Roberto (1992-08-21) 21 August 1992 (age 23) 5 0 Spain Barcelona
21 3MF Joan Jordán (1994-07-06) 6 July 1994 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Espanyol

7 4FW Álvaro Vázquez (1991-04-27) 27 April 1991 (age 25) 5 0 Spain Getafe
9 4FW Sergio García (1983-06-09) 9 June 1983 (age 33) 13 8 Qatar Al Rayyan
14 4FW Keita Baldé (1995-03-08) 8 March 1995 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Lazio
17 4FW Gerard (1992-04-07) 7 April 1992 (age 24) 2 0 Spain Espanyol

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 34) 12 0 Unattached
1GK Kiko Casilla (1986-01-02) 2 January 1986 (age 30) 5 0 Spain Real Madrid
1GK Jordi Codina (1982-04-27) 27 April 1982 (age 34) 4 0 Cyprus Pafos

2DF Andreu Fontàs (1989-11-14) 14 November 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Spain Celta
2DF Jordi Amat (1992-03-21) 21 March 1992 (age 24) 2 0 Wales Swansea City
2DF Raúl Rodríguez (1987-09-22) 22 September 1987 (age 28) 1 0 United States Houston Dynamo
2DF Marc Muniesa (1992-03-27) 27 March 1992 (age 24) 1 0 England Stoke City
2DF Sergio Juste (1992-01-12) 12 January 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Spain Barcelona B
2DF Marc Valiente (1987-03-20) 20 March 1987 (age 29) 1 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa
2DF Sergi Gómez (1992-03-28) 28 March 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Spain Celta

3MF Xavi (1980-01-25) 25 January 1980 (age 36) 11 2 Qatar Al Sadd
3MF Cesc Fàbregas (1987-05-04) 4 May 1987 (age 29) 3 0 England Chelsea
3MF Víctor Sánchez (1987-09-08) 8 September 1987 (age 28) 3 0 Spain Espanyol
3MF Sergio Tejera (1990-05-28) 28 May 1990 (age 26) 1 0 Spain Gimnàstic
3MF Jordi Xumetra (1985-10-24) 24 October 1985 (age 30) 1 0 Spain Levante
3MF Oriol Rosell (1992-07-07) 7 July 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Portugal Sporting CP
3MF Sergi Samper (1995-01-20) 20 January 1995 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Barcelona B

4FW Coro (1983-01-05) 5 January 1983 (age 33) 8 1 Spain Mallorca
4FW Bojan (1990-08-20) 20 August 1990 (age 25) 7 6 England Stoke City
4FW Jonathan Soriano (1985-11-24) 24 November 1985 (age 30) 5 1 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
4FW Cristian Tello (1991-08-11) 11 August 1991 (age 24) 2 0 Italy Fiorentina
3MF Isaac Cuenca (1991-04-27) 27 April 1991 (age 25) 1 0 Spain Granada
3MF Gerard Deulofeu (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 (age 22) 1 0 England Everton
4FW Oriol Riera (1986-07-03) 3 July 1986 (age 30) 1 1 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 Barcelona at the time. Notice that some players, as Andrés Iniesta, Jordi Cruyff or Lionel Messi 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 Archived September 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "4–2: Catalunya suma un triunfo de prestigio frente a Argentina" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 22 December 2009. 
  3. ^ fcbarcelona.com Archived November 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Vasconia-Cataluña" (PDF). 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. 
  10. ^ Report: Homage to Kubala (1993)

External links[edit]