?Real Madrid centre back Sergio Ramos claims he wants his sides’ El Clasico rivals Barcelona to stay in La Liga despite the ongoing row surrounding Catalan independence.

Catalonia, the region of Spain where Barcelona are based, recently declared independence from the rest of the country leading to speculation that Barcelona could breakaway from La Liga, with the Premier League suggested as one potential alternative for Messi and co.

But Ramos, who played the full ninety minutes as Real Madrid were stunned 2-1 away to another Catalan club in the shape of newly promoted Girona on Sunday, claims he would prefer it if Barcelona remained in La Liga.

?Goal.com reports that the centre back told Spanish newspaper Marca: “It’s complicated. I find it hard to believe that the majority want independence and I prefer that Barcelona play in our league.”

Ramos went onto to talk about his experience playing in Catalonia against Girona saying: “On Sunday [against Girona] I felt just as much Spanish as anywhere else. I am more concerned as a Spaniard that our anthem has no lyrics than about the situation in Catalonia. I want our hymn to have lyrics because I feel the healthy envy of seeing other national teams looking up while singing their anthems.

“What I can say or do about it will not change anything. The image of Spain as a country worldwide hurts me as I am Spanish. I do not like this kind of thing to happen, I believe that together we are stronger.”

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Although Ramos says he would like Barcelona to stay in La Liga, the Camp Nou side are currently eight points clear of Real at the top of La Liga, with Los Blancos down in third in the early standings.