Cesc Fabregas admits that he tries to avoid becoming political in the wake of the Catalan independence referendum.
The Spain international was born in Catalonia, in the municipality of Arenys de Mar, and has had two spells at Barcelona, between 1997 and 2003, and 2011 and 2014.
Fellow Catalan Gerard Pique has been a vocal supporter of independence, and has found himself criticised for it; indeed, supporters’ whistles targeted Pique during training for the national team.
“I wish there was more well-being throughout the country,” Fabregas told Vanity Fair, after the referendum brought violent clashes between police and protesters, and the legality of the vote questioned.
“We all have different opinions but I wish things were done differently and we could understand each other better.
“In Spain football is a passion, so it's difficult for a footballer to think about political issues. They misunderstand you right away. I try to stay out of it.”
Fabregas will likely represent Spain at the World Cup in 2018, having won 110 caps for his country. Fabregas has also played three times for Catalonia.