Samuel Umtiti felt like he was in "prison" during Barça spell in Catalonia

Samuel Umtiti felt like he was in "prison" during Barça spell in Catalonia

| sport

The centre-back, on loan at Lecce, explained how he felt at the Blaugranato Canal+

Samuel Umtiti had some harsh words on his time at Barcelona in an interview with Canal+. The defender, who is on loan from at Lecce, went as far as to say that in Catalonia he felt like he was "in a prison."

Umtiti commented that at Barça "the only thing I needed was to feel appreciated, useful and respected. In Catalonia, I spent four years in prison, not only on a sporting level but also in everyday life."

"At the beginning, after my move to Spain, I felt appreciated and I played at a good level. Then I started to feel a lack of trust, I felt bad and I realised that nobody believed in me anymore."

Happy in Italy

Now, however, he says he is happy in the south of Italy, fighting with Lecce to avoid relegation to Serie B.

"It was a challenge for me," he added. "I know well that to stay up, in these parts, is worth a championship. It's good because here I have found my smile again and I'm grateful to society for that."

Umtiti is enjoying his season, in which he has returned to the limelight, but he is not making any plans long-term.

"Now I'm only thinking about avoiding relegation," he said. "Some time ago, my friend Lacazette came to see me and we thought that, before we retired, it would be good to play a bit more together."

His contract with Barça expires in 2026, after a renewal to defer payment of his high salary, and he does not seem at all keen to return: "I want to continue to feel good, I achieved that in Italy. I love the language, the food and the fashion."

Topics with the letter