Barcelona breakaway? Madrid coach Zidane can't imagine La Liga without Catalans

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The Camp Nou club have been tipped to play in a different division if Catalonia becomes independent, but the Blancos boss does not like the idea

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says he cannot imagine seeing Barcelona leave La Liga if Catalonia becomes independent.

The Catalan parliament plans to hold a referendum on October 1 on whether the region should separate from Spain, although a national court has this week blocked those plans.

It has been speculated that Barca and Espanyol, who meet in a derby match on Saturday, could have the chance to play in France's Ligue 1 if the independence campaign is successful.

Espanyol or draw 7/2

But Zidane feels any exit from La Liga would be damaging to the competition, telling a news conference: "I can't see a Spanish league without Barcelona. It's all I can say as a fan of football, of this sport.

"I'm not going to get into it because there are people who want it and people who don't. I simply can't see a Spanish league without them."

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Zidane went on to defend comments made by Madrid president Florentino Perez with regard to referees in Spain's top flight.

Perez stated his belief that officials are not operating to the required standard in La Liga and Zidane feels his opinion is justified.

"All Florentino said is that we all have to improve, the referees as well," he said. "The president has the right to say what he thinks and I agree with him, that we all have to improve."

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