“The goal is to win trophies for Barcelona”
That's how Sergio shared his aspirations for this new period with Barca as he participated in the Spanish radio show "Tu Dirás". In addition, he shared some insight on his expectations for the coming season, and explained his efforts to recover from his current injury.
Below, some of the highlights of the interview:
On signing for Barca:
"Any player would love to be here. When the possibility arose, I knew I had no doubts about my desire to come here – I told my manager, 'Money's not an object, let's make it happen.' And so it was."
Refuting rumours after Messi's departure:
"There was some unfounded talk about me having an exit clause in case Leo left. When I injured my calf for my debut for the Gamper Trophy, it coincided with Leo's exit, and then the tall tales started to sprout. I wasn't sure what the hubbub was all about. When I had signed, Leo was still in talks. My deal was closed while the other was still preliminary. I did know something was up with my leg during the Gamper – I couldn't give firm steps forward, it was best to spend two or three days resting then..."
On the Champions League:
"For Barca, we have to go for all the trophies. I don't know if we are favoured for the Champions, but our rivals greatly respect us. When I was in Atleti, I played against Barca in their worst form – but we still knew it was Barca and respect was due. We need to put that into action, and if we are able to make things right... well, many people whoh aren't expecting much out of us at the Champions League should watch out."
The goal is to win trophies:
"I don't have a self-imposed tally of goals to score. What I want is to reach the end of the season winning trophies. That's the only measure of success I care for. This is a team, and it's a team effort – I want to score so we can get the full 3 points, or to move to the next round. I want to finish the season and look back without thinking whether I scored 15 or 30 times – I want to look back at how many titles we've secured. That's what matters to all of us. I was teasing Sergi Roberto the other day, "the dream striker". I'd call him. He'd crack up of course... but I assured him, if he kept on at it, he'll eventually get the prize. Midfielders can sneak up on unsuspecting defenders who are too caught up in stopping the forwards, after all."
On the injury:
"I'm doing very well, making great progress. I should be able to do some fieldwork next week, surely. The last MRI was very good. We'll keep on advancing and perhaps I can cut a few weeks from the expected ETA. I have no pain anymore, but this can be a treacherous injury."
On his relation with Koeman:
"It's stellar, we've been on the phone talking since my arrival. You can tell he's straight-to-the-point, and players appreciate that a lot – he makes the job look easy. In this directness, you know exactly what he's thinking, and you can tell where he lands on each matter, positive or not, and that's helpful. A pro player prefers to hear straight talk, much more so than silence and being unable to figure things out."