Sergi Roberto on Valverde, Luis Enrique and rejecting Real Madrid

The midfielder spoke to SPORT as part of a Nike event this week

Sergi Roberto habló en exclusiva para Diario Sport | Marta Fernández

An exclusive interview with Barcelona's Sergi Roberto for Diario SPORT: 

Javier Giraldo


Do you think Ernesto Valverde will remain on the Barça bench for many years? Or do you think modern football doesn't allow for cycles of more than three or four years? 

The coaches decide. In recent years, they've managed three or four years because there's a lot of pressure at Barça. Every three days there's a game, it takes its toll. It depends on each person... And if you don't win titles, fans immediately want another coach. We're really happy with Valverde. He's renewed for another year and we're all satisified that he's staying with us for another season. It's a really good sign. 

In contrast, the coach who's marked your career is now the Spain coach. Do you feel especially comfortable playing under Luis Enrique? 

He gave me the chance to come up to the B team when I was in the U19s. I played with the reserves and it was him who then gave me the chance to play more minutes with the first team. Now, with the national team, it seems I'm moving forward and finding myself [laughs]. He's a key person in my sporting career, that's clear. Luis Enrique has marked my career. 

Looking back, what do you remember from that week when you decided what your future would hold. You were playing for Nastic, you were 14 and Real Madrid and Barça came in for you at the same time... 

Yes, I was playing for Nastic's U15 team. The director of Madrid's academy got in contact with the club to show interest and invite me for a trial. A few days later, Barça reacted and also sent a fax to Nastic. At that moment, I didn't care about Madrid. The truth is, even though it may seem the opposite, I felt really calm at that time. I went for a trial at Barça, it went well, they told me to stay and that was that. Eveything else has been forgotten. I've been a Barça fan since I was a kid and I didn't think much about it. 


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