Barcelona won the World Cup, not Spain - Cantona

Barcelona and not Spain should get the credit for winning the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, according to Eric Cantona.

The Catalan giants provided six members of Vicente Del Bosque's starting XI that defeated Netherlands in Johannesburg - with Andres Iniesta scoring the game's only goal - while David Villa and substitute Cesc Fabregas both moved to Camp Nou soon after the tournament.

Cantona was not entirely clear on the precise number of Barca players who featured, but remains adamant that Spain simply rode on the back of one of the Blaugrana's greatest ever sides.

“Spain won it [the World Cup] with 10 Barcelona players in the team," the Frenchman told reporters in Shanghai ahead of Wednesday's Laureus Sports Awards. "Spain did not win the World Cup, Catalonia did. Barcelona won it.”

Cantona had more words of praise for Barcelona when asked to rank Europe's domestic competitions in order of quality, adding: "The best league is the Premier League. Then comes the Bundesliga. Next it's Barcelona. Just Barcelona."

The Manchester United legend's comments are likely to cause controversy in Spain - there is a significant appetite in Catalonia for independence and the region already boasts its own national side that is not recognised by Fifa.

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