Catalan leaders use Barcelona Champions League miracle to push for independence

Barca players celebrate their incredible victory last night

Barca pulled off a miracle in the Champions League last night

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The leaders of Catalonia's separatist movement were quick to seize on Barcelona's incredible Champions League last night, suggesting it can inspire the region's push for independence.

Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the regional Catalan Parliament, tweeted after Barca's incredible 6-1 victory over PSG in their second-round, second-leg tie that he had been present at the Camp Nou, and suggested the victory - which overturned a 4-0 defeat in the first leg - showed anything could be achieved.

Puigdemont wrote, in Catalan, "Nothing is impossible. Barca have just demonstrated this playing football. And Catalonia will demonstrate this deciding its future. And we will shout! #Iwasthere."

Puigdemont's fellow independentista, firebrand Oriol Junqueras, tweeted that "perseverance in effort makes anything possible", while Raul Romeva, a left-wing member of the secession movement, wrote "when you think seriously, you end up winning."

Barca's victory over PSG, achieved with three goals in the closing minutes, has been widely described as the greatest Champions League comeback of all time.

The match was played out to the backdrop of dozens of Catalan independence flags in the Camp Nou, even though they have previously been banned by European football's governing body, Uefa.

Catalonia's secessionists continue to push for independence from Spain, despite repeated rejection of their entreaties by the government in Madrid and an ongoing court case against former regional leader Artur Mas, who is accused of inciting civil disobedience.

In recent years Barca have become a symbol of the separatist movement, with many of the club's star players voicing their support for independence - a stance which has caused considerable resentment in the rest of Spain.