Imagining a Basque National Team Ahead of the World Cup

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Imagining a Basque National Team Ahead of the World Cup
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The recent re-emergence of Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Sociedad has put Basque football back on the map. The Basque Country, located in Northern Spain, has a population of around 3 million with football in their blood.

Throughout the years, Basque players have helped the Spanish national team achieve success. Legends from the region, such as Joseba Etxeberria, have been regular faces for La Roja, while the likes of Fernando Llorente and Xabi Alonso helped the country win its first World Cup back in 2010.

In Spain, Catalonia has received major attention over the years due to the success of Barcelona and calls for independence. But the Basque Country also has a lot to say for itself.

Historic clubs like Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Sociedad have seen major success throughout the decades, and they are once more making their presence felt in the country. But other Basque clubs, such as Eibar, who will likely be promoted to the first division for the first time next season, are beginning to find success as well.

With the Basque Country being a very independent area that is constantly churning out top footballing prospects, it would be amazing to see the Basque national team one day competing against other European nations.

For now, Euskal Selekzioa has to settle for one friendly every year. Last December, several stars were called up to represent the Basque Country in a friendly against Peru at the new San Mames. The Basques came out 6-0 victors.

With that in mind, this article will take a look at what the Basque national team could look like today, as well as discussing just how competitive Euskal Herria could really be.

 

Note: For this list, a player must be born in the Basque Country, have Basque parents/grandparents, or have spent enough time in the Basque Country to qualify, just as players today must do for other countries.

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