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Former Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola Speaks at Catalan Independence at Rally

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The Manchester City boss is a native of the region

Watford v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola read a manifesto in Catalan, Spanish and English to a crowd 40,000 strong calling for Catalan independence.

“We have tried on reach an agreement 18 times, and the answer has always been no,” Guardiola said, referencing Catalonia’s repeated attempts to establish a binding referendum on independence.

The Catalan government announced they would be holding a referendum on the issue on October 1st, but the Spanish government deems such a move illegal. Catalans will vote on whether they want to be independent or not, but Spain will not recognize that vote no matter the result.

Guardiola continued: “We have no other solution, the only possible answer is to vote. We call on the international community to help us. We call on all democrats in Europe and all around the world to stand by us, to defend the rights that are under threat today in Catalonia, such as freedom of political expression and the right to vote.”

Catalan independence could have interesting consequences for FC Barcelona. It remains to be seen whether La Liga would retain Barça and the effects independence will have on the Spanish national team.

Watch Pep’s speech: