Former Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite has reflected on his time with the Catalan club, saying that towards the final stretch of his tenure, he knew that he had to leave the team in order to get more minutes.
In an interview with Club del Deportista (h/t SPORT), he mentioned that he didn’t need to hear anything from anyone about his departure, adding that it was nevertheless implied that he had to look beyond Barcelona.
“It was something obvious, after my injury I wasn’t getting counted or getting minutes with the team,” he said.
“I didn’t really need to hear anything from anyone. It was just a natural thing, a tacit agreement that I had to look for something else. But I’m a positive person and I’m in a good position at Espanyol,” he added.
Braithwaite, 31, went on to sign for Barcelona’s cross-town rivals Espanyol in September 2022 as a free agent, signing a three-year contract with the team. Talking about this, he said that although his time with Barcelona was tough, he had a good experience with the team.
“People see it in different ways but I’m happy with the experience. I have great memories: good people, I can only say good things about my time at Barça,” he explained.
The former Middlesbrough forward has made four appearances for Espanyol this La Liga season and has returned with two goals and an assist. Speaking about his new team, he said that he knew Espanyol would be a great project as he didn’t have to move much.
“I am very happy to be here. It has been a great start. It was the best project for me and they made me feel that they really loved me. At the same time, to continue in Barcelona and keep the family happy. It was the best pack”, said the forward.
Adding further, he said that he is happy to be in a team ‘where he feels useful’.
“I really didn’t think much about it: it’s part of football. It’s a fun thing for people from outside but for me, it was about making the best decision for me. I’m happy to be in a team where I can feel useful and important.
“I’m in a process of adapting to my new teammates and giving what the coach is looking for. It’s important to think game by game”
Lastly, the 31-year-old recalled how his life changed when he signed for Barcelona in 2020. Back then, the Catalan club had to activate his release clause which was said to be worth €18 million.
“Of course, it was a change. When you play in a team like Barcelona there is a big change in the repercussion, there are a lot of media but it’s something I got used to. Now, at Espanyol, I feel like I’m returning to my best version. I’m in great shape and I want to continue like this,” he concluded.