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BARCELONA

Carles Puyol criticised for saying "I am Spanish"

The Barcelona legend said: "I am Carles Puyol, I am Spanish", in an advert for a Chinese TV channel, sparking a barrage of abusive tweets in Catalan.
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"I am the ex-captain of FC Barcelona. I've won six leagues, three European Cups, a World Cup, and a European Championship. I am Carles Puyol, and I am Spanish." That is how Puyol introduces himself in a new La Liga advert for a Chinese TV channel.

Despite the fact the advert is airing over a thousand miles away in the Far East, it has received a lot of attention back in the Barça legend's native Spain, and especially in Catalonia.

Thousand's of messages have been sent to Puyol - who is Catalan - through his official Twitter account, with many of them fiercely critical of his self-description of 'Spanish' in the advert.

The insults aimed at Puyol - who played 100 games for the Spanish national side between 2000 and 2013 - range from "Traitor", "Deserter" and "Sell-out".