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Marc Bartra talks Xavi, Messi, Yamal, Lewandowski, Abde ahead of Barcelona vs Real Betis



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Marc Bartra, who spent 14 years at Barcelona before leaving in 2016, will soon be locking horns against his former club as the Catalans are set to take on Real Betis at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Saturday.

The centre-back spoke to SPORT, touching upon a multitude of topics and answering various questions related to his boyhood club.

When asked about what he thought about one of his new partner in defense, Chadi Riad, who is on loan from Barcelona, Bartra replied:

“I see him as very dedicated, he listens a lot to the coach’s advice, also what I can give him. I hope I can help the team a lot.”

Ez Abde is another former Blaugrana player now plying his trade with Betis, and Bartra commended him, too, stating:

“He has great potential, very good one-on-one, daring and fast. He is a very important signing for us.”

On the topic of Barcelona’s start to the season, Bartra made sure to give Xavi his roses, claiming:

“Well, it seems to me that Xavi is doing a great job and it was already seen last season. They have made a great team.”

The 32-year-old was asked about whether he saw Xavi as having the potential to become a coach when they both once shared the same field, to which he replied:

“Totally, he’s a football guy, he has mastered the game, the positioning both on and off the ball, he’s already shown that he’s made a step forward defensively. And he knows a lot and loves the club.”

The defender was also called upon to provide his insights on the forthcoming clash against the Catalan giants.

“Against Barça we have to give our best version, take care of all the details, play a practically perfect match. But we already know what it’s like to beat Barça.” Bartra expressed.

When prompted to discuss his views on Barcelona’s new revelation in attack, Lamine Yamal, Bartra acknowledged his immense talents, stating:

“Look, we follow each other on social networks, and I recently wrote to him and told him to keep his feet on the ground, that this will lead him to a career, and that mentality is the most important thing, even more than talent. He makes a difference and seems like a very good kid.”

Robert Lewandowski was also the topic of discussion as Bartra was asked about the possibility of facing the Barcelona striker.

“Phew, we had a lot of battles both years in Germany (smiles). He is one of the best and most dangerous forwards in the world,” Bartra voiced.

Bartra, having played alongside Lionel Messi experienced the Argentine’s virtuosic nature firsthand and seemed happy that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was enjoying his time in Miami along with two other Barcelona legends, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s a spectacle. I’m glad he’s happy in Miami, and also because of Busi and Alba, I talk to them often. And for ‘Tata’, who took good care of me at Barça.” he said.

Finally, when pressed to comment on a potential homecoming, Bartra played down the possibility, vocalizing:

“I think a lot about Betis, I just returned and I always focus on the present. I am very grateful for what I experienced at Barça and in the other teams I have played for, but now I am where I wanted to be.”

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