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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Catalonia can qualify for Football World Cup in near future, says Albert Vinas

Spanish coach Albert Vinas believes that Catalonia will be able to secure a good place for themselves in world football and they can even qualify for the World Cup in the near future.

football Updated: Oct 30, 2017 19:04 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Albert Vinas thinks that Catalonia have the players to guide them to a bright future in football.
Albert Vinas thinks that Catalonia have the players to guide them to a bright future in football.(Twitter)

Considering the enormous talent in Catalonia, Spanish coach Albert Vinas believes that the newly-formed country will soon solidify their place in European football and might qualify for the FIFA World Cup in the near future.

Vinas, who is also a director of SmartFootball and Tecnifutball, was in Pune for a joint venture along with Pune-based TRNA India and Prodigy Experience firms. Under this programme, aspiring football players in U16, U14 U12 and U10 age groups will get a chance to train in Spain.

Vinas holds a UEFA Pro Licence and a sports science degree from the University of Barcelona. Talking about the separation he said, “It will be too early to predict about the new country as the official separation is still in process.

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Interestingly, Catalonia plays a big part in Spanish football and the separation is likely to hit the national squad as several players from the team are from Catalonia.

“Our players like Pique, Guardiola, Xavi, Carles Puyol and Cesc Fabregas are the backbone of the Spanish team. In fact, in the last World Cup, eight players from the squad were from Catalonia. It shows the tremendous football talent in this part. So, we have a very good chance to form our own team and then qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

What about FC Barcelona and other local teams?

Albert who has been in the field for more than 20 years, has helped a trio of Barcelona stars like Marc Bartra and Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu, who moved to Valencia from Barcelona. Albert also played a big role in training coaches and had mentored former Barca manager Tito Vilanova.

READ | Real Madrid suffer shock defeat to La Liga minnows Girona in Catalonia

“Most of the football fans around the world are worried about the future of Barcelona. But I don’t think that will be a big issue. With the television rights and other financial investments, they will find some solution for sure. They might end up in playing La Liga or might move to Premier League. However, if they choose to move out of La Liga then there won’t be any El Clasico in future,” said Albert.

“The immediate alternative to La Liga would be a Catalan league, which includes teams like Espanyol and Girona. There are already few Catalan leagues which are played under the auspices of Spanish football but administered by the Catalan Football Federation. The Catalan league is strong and equivalent to the leagues in Portugal and Finland, and definitely better than Lithuania and Latvia. With our population of 8 million, we will produce a quality football league and see a bright future ahead,” he added

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 19:04 IST