Arias, who has just written a book called ‘Mis Mundiales’ (My World Cups), was interviewed recently by Catalonia’s top daily La Vanguardia about his experiences and opinions on the global footballing event.
Asked how he though Spanish society would react if their team was to win in Brazil, he replied: “It would lead to a wave of enthusiasm across Spain, but not everywhere.
"Let’s be honest, in Catalonia and other parts, people wouldn’t exactly be enthusiastic."
His comments come at a time when Catalan leaders are pushing for a vote on the issue of independence for the region.
Photo: Stan Honda/AFP
The former consul general and UN diplomat for Spain in New York also told the interviewer that "The victory in South Africa seemed to have welded our society together but in places like Catalonia and the Basque Country that is no longer the case."
Arias also labelled the bonuses Spain’s players would receive if they won the tournament as "ludicrous".