Real Madrid manager 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.

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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