Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says Catalunya will become independent "sooner or later" regardless of the outcome of Sunday's referendum.
The region is due to vote on independence from Spain this weekend amid warnings from Liga de Futbol Profesional president Javier Tebas that it could also signal a split in La Liga.
That could cause problems for Catalan sides Barcelona and Espanyol, with former Barca coach and player Guardiola a consistent supporter of independence.
While Tebas suggested he was doubtful whether Catalunya would split from Spain, Bayern Munich boss Guardiola - a member of the pro-independence Junts pel Si [Together for Yes] party - suggested otherwise.
"Sooner or later [Catalan independence] will arrive. Of that I am sure and both Catalunya and Spain will be better," he told El Punt Avui.
"It doesn't scare me if the day after [the elections] there is a large majority of people who decide in that way [for independence], even though there are others who think in a completely different way.
"The desire for a new way of things that will be better comes before everything else. It will be very difficult to stop it if there is a huge majority."
Guardiola served as captain during an 11-year playing spell at Camp Nou before overseeing one of the best periods in Barca history as coach between 2008 and 2012.
The 44-year-old represented both the Spain and Catalan national sides during his playing career.
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