Xavi Hernandez: A Catalonia national team would be among the world's best
Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has said he believes a Catalan national team would be among the best 10 or 15 in the world.
Xavi played more than an hour of Catalonia's 3-3 draw with Tunisia on Wednesday, which ended in a penalty shootout defeat.
The side included a number of Barca and Espanyol players, although Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets were absent.
And Xavi, who plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, told Cadena COPE: "The Catalan national team would be among the best 10 or 15 sides in the world.
"We played our own football, always attacking, enjoying having the ball, looking to entertain -- in short, what is genuinely ours, what we have learned from teachers like Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola.
"This national team is a true reflection of the level you can currently find in Catalan sport. There's no doubt that we are a power in a number of different specialities."
Xavi, who will be 37 in January, is currently taking his coaching badges in Qatar.
And asked whether he could one day lead the Catalan team, which plays only once a year, he said: "You never know. You can never shut any doors.
"It's too soon to speak about hypothesis, but one of the ideas is to return home and to coach in Barcelona, in Catalonia. This is my home and I feel comfortable here."
The former Spain international was voted Man of the Match against Tunisia, and joint Catalonia coach Gerard Lopez suggested he could carry on for another nine years.
"He could play until he's 45 with his talent, the way he plays and his capacity to manage his fitness," he told his postmatch news conference.
"He's a different player. For me, he's the best Catalan player in history."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.