For or against? Famous people have their say on Catalan independence

The Local takes a look at some of the more well known personalities, both home and abroad, who have spoken out to give their view on whether Catalonia should be an independence state.

For or against? Famous people have their say on Catalan independence
Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP


Pep Guardiola: FC Barça hero Guardiola is a staunch supporter of Catalan independence, even standing as a candidate for the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí. He has said that he would “have played for a Catalan national team” if he had had the chance. 

Pep Guardiola, who is pro-independence. Photo: AFP

José Carreras: The Catalan tenor has said: “I am pro-independence and I am very patriotic. Sometimes you have to express how you feel, even if it could cause you problems in some situations.” 

Catalan opera singer, José Carreras. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP

Gerry Adams: The Sinn Fein leader has sent support for Catalan independence from abroad, sending a “message of solidarity” from Ireland via a YouTube video

The Lord Mayor of Dublin: Christie Burke is another Irish supporter of Catlan independence: “I have no doubt that your day will come, I have no doubt,” he told Catalan news agency ACN adding, “you deserve independence.” 

Catalan historians: Historians with the separatist-leaning Institute Nova Història say that for centuries, Castilian Spanish leaders have ignored or downplayed the role of Catalonia in the country’s history, claiming that Spanish literary classic Don Quixote could well have been written in Catalan by Miguel De Cervantes and that Christopher Columbus could have had roots in the northeastern region. 

Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué lifting the Champions League trophy in 2015. Photo: AFP

Gerard Piqué: Barcelona defender and husband of Colombian pop star Shakira is pro-independence, attending the huge march for independence in Barcelona on La Diada, Barcelona’s National Day. 




Mario Vargas Llosa: An independent Catalonia would be “a marginalized country, governed by mediocre fanatics”, the Nobel prize-winning Peruvian author has said. 

Ian Gibson:  The Irish historian and hispanist known for his work on Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca has said it would be a “great error” for Catalonia to declare independence, arguing that Catalonia has “more freedom than ever in its history” in El País. 

The Archbishop of Valencia: Antonio Cañizares is hoping the power of prayer might work, urging the faithful to pray for a “united Spain” in the run up Sunday's election. 

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP

Foreign leaders: Barack Obama called for a “strong and unified” Spain when the Spanish royals visited the White House on September 15th. Angela Merkel and David Cameron have also supported Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in opposing independence, with Cameron warning Catalonia that independence would mean “leaving the EU” on a visit to Madrid in early September. 

Isabel Coixet: The Catalan film director wrote an opinion piece in El País on Catalonia's national day, La Diada, saying she didn't care about the independence issue, saying it was “like Groundhog Day”, referencing the 1993 film starring Bill Murray in which he wakes up on the same day over and over again. 

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. Photo: AFP

Pedro Almodóvar: The Oscar-winning Spanish film director, along with other intellectuals, released a statement in 2012 accusing pro-independence activists of turning Spain into a “scapegoat on which to blame all their problems”.

Montserrat Caballé: The opera singer who shot to world fame thanks to her 'Barcelona' duet with Freddie Mercury is staunchly anti-independence. She said, in 2013: “The people of the world need to be united” adding that “I am very happy to have been born in Barcelona and that my children studied in Spain.”

Montserrat Caballé. Photo: AFP

Julio Iglesias: The Spanish crooner has criticized Catalan President Artur Mas for “separating Catalans”. 

Sports stars

Marc Marquez (l) and his younger brother Alex Marquez (r). Photo: Quique Garcia/AFP

The Marquez brothers (racing driver Marc and motorbike racer Alex) are anti-independence. Marc said in a 2014 interview: “I am Catalan because I am from Catalonia but I feel Spanish.”

Pau and Marc Gasol: The NBA basketball star brothers are described in the Spanish press as anti-independence despite being in favour of the right to a referendum.

Pau Gasol (centre) plays for the Chicago Bulls. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Mireia Belmonte: The Spanish swimmer has said “It’s possible to be Catalan and Spanish”. 

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