UEFA Champions League: Barcelona star’s victory celebration highlights Spain’s continuing political tension

Posted by Nelson Dafe | 8 June 2015 | 3,773 times

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Barcelona saw off a determined Juventus in the UEFA Champions League in Berlin on Saturday night, sparking off wild scenes of celebrations amongst the Barca players and fans from Germany to Spain and all around the world.

In a controversial moment of celebration, Barcelona’s centre back Pique showed subtly the ongoing political tensions in Spain with a gesture that many would  regard as symbolic of Barcelona’s Catalan region’s continuing quest to secede from the rest of Spain.

As was reported by Britain’s Daily Mail “In one of the more bizarre moves of the evening, centre back Gerard Pique ran on to the pitch at full time with a Catalan flag he had taken from the crowd and planted it in the middle of the pitch - likely intended as a political statement at Catalonia’s wish to become independent.

“Banners reading ‘Catalonia is not Spain’ are common among the Barcelona supporters, with the region’s flag incorporated into the team’s logo.

However, Pique’s decision to plant the flag in the pitch’s centre circle will likely draw more attention to the issue, as it was watched on television by millions of football fans across the globe.

“Catalonia was ruled by the Crown of Aragon until the late 15th century when the merger of Aragon and the Crown of Castile created modern day Spain.

“However, the region was robbed of much of its autonomous power following the War of Spanish Succession in 1714, sparking the separatist movement which continues today. After planting the flag, Pique then went about clipping down one of the goal nets before draping it over his shoulders and parading around the pitch, as other players ran to the crowd in celebration.”

In the entertaining encounter, Ivan Rakitic opened scoring for Barcelona through a shot just inside the Juventus box very early in the match.

Juve rallied back to equalise with a simple tap-in from the very impressive Morata. But Barca regained their lead through a tap-in of their own from Luis Suarez.

The win was made more emphatic for the Spanish champions by a Neymar goal in the last second of the game.

Photo shows Pique walking towards Catalan flag.

Source: News Express

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