Pep Guardiola has entered political life by demanding Spain give the Catalan region an independence referendum.
Manchester City boss Guardiola has been busy this summer strengthening his squad at the Etihad as he looks to challenge for the Premier League title.
But the former Barcelona star broke off from his managerial duties to launch an impassioned appeal for the rights of his home area.
The Catalan region is planning to hold a vote on whether they should be given independence from Spain on September 1.
But until now the Spanish government have refused to acknowledge the claims of the region, and the vote they intend to stage.
So Guardiola took to the stage in front of 40,000 people in Barcelona today to make a public appeal for the Spanish government to start listening to the will of the people.
Guardiola said: “We are here today to make it clear that on October 1 we are going to vote in a referendum to decide our future.
“We will vote even though the Spanish state doesn’t want us to.
“We have tried to reach an agreement 18 times and the answer has always been no.With this response, they ignore the support for a referendum of 80 percent of the population.
“They show contempt for the large majority in favour of it in Catalonia’s parliament.
“We have no other solution and the only possible answer is to vote.
“We call on the international community to help us.
“We call on all democracies in Europe and around the world to stand by us in defending the rights under threat in Catalonia, such as freedom of political expression and the right to vote to face up to the abuses of an authoritarian state.