Read in Catalan

Real Valladolid has stopped two of its players and its coach from representing Catalonia in the friendly against Venezuela to be held on 25th March at Girona's stadium Montilivi.

The club made the announcement through a blunt statement: "Alcaraz, Masip and Sergio won't go to the call from the Catalan team". Goalkeeper Jordi Masip, midfielder Rubén Alcaraz and coach Sergio González are thus expected to now miss the match.

Òscar Garcia Gerard López Sergio González Sergi Alcàzar

Photo: Sergi Alcàzar

The reasons

"The club respects the Catalan Football Federation but believes that it has to put its own sporting interests first at a decisive point in the season and avoid taking risks which could mean the injury of one of these two footballers, before the key dates for the team," the club's statement says.

gerard pique seleccio catalana @FCF CAT

Photo: FCF

Valladolid is the only club possibly affected to have taken the controversial decision, with no suggestion political motives could be involved. The statement doesn't, however, say anything beyond "avoiding risks", leaving it unclear how that applies to their coach.

Change of opinion

The announcement, however, was a surprise as it showed an apparent reversal of opinion in just 24 hours. Yesterday, they were congratulating their players on their selection; today, they've blocked them from playing.

Translation: Alcaraz and Masip, called by the Catalan team for the friendly with Venezuela next Monday, 25th March. 

Translation: Alcaraz, Masip and Sergio González won't attend the Catalan team. The club believes it should put its sporting interests first at a crucial point in the season.

The team

The formal announcement of the lineup will be made tomorrow, Wednesday. According to RAC1, the Catalan coach, Gerard López will call a team set to include some of the biggest names in world football, like Gerard Piqué and Xavi Hernández.

Player Team
Masip Valladolid
Alberto García Rayo
Gerard Piqué Barça
Marc Muniesa Girona
Dídac Vilà Espanyol
Marc Bartra Betis
Aleix Vidal Sevilla
Martín Montoya Brighton
Àlex Moreno Rayo
Xavi Hernández Al-Sadd
Àlex Granell Girona
Pere Pons Girona
Aleix Garcia Girona
Óscar Melendo Espanyol
Joan Jordán Eibar
Oriol Romeu Southampton
Rubén Alcaraz Valladolid
Sergio García Espanyol
Gerard Deulofeu Watford
Bojan Krkic Stoke City
Enric Gallego Osca