Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto has spoken to BeIN sports about his adaption to life at right-back.
“Ordinarily I am a right-back because it’s where I’ve played every game [this season],” he said.
“I was a midfielder and it’s a new position for me, although I played it last season, too, and if I’m asked, I’m a right-back for Barcelona but I have always been a midfield player.
“In preseason last year Luis Enrique told me I was going to play at full-back, to see how it goes and that it could be good for me.
“With Barça B various players made the switch, like Illie, who was a midfielder as well. The friendly game went well, I adapted well and we carried on trying it. Things went well and I’ve stayed in this position.
“Our starting right-back was Dani Alves. He was one of the best right-backs Barcelona have had and that there is in the world. He was a great mirror for me. Watching him train and seeing his intensity in games was great. I tried to focus on him.
“It’s all new for me. I didn’t know what I had to do as a right-back. You know all the positions on the pitch, but when you’re there, you see the movements, how to attack, how the lines are… It’s all new and as time passes you focus on these aspects and continue to adapt to the position.
“Now I have more chances to play. If there’s a player missing in a position you play, you get more minutes. That was the case with me last season. I played in various positions and was able to get the continuity I wanted.
“This year, with the new signings, there are more players in midfield and I’m playing at right-back.”
Sergi Roberto also spoke about the time when he was more out than in at Barça, with first team opportunities proving hard to come by until 18 months ago.
“They’re difficult moments,” he explained. “But I was clear I wanted to succeed at Barcelona. I’ve been a fan of the club for years and was in the youth team for a long time.
“I knew the competition was tough and that it was difficult to get minutes. In the end, after a season without playing much, I got more continuity last season. This season’s been the same and I’m happy about that.
“Luis Enrique was very important for me. It was him that gave me my B team debut and gave me my opportunity. I played every minute and when we were reunited in the first team I was really happy to see him again.
“I didn’t have the minutes I desired at first, but in the end he gave me the opportunities I wanted and now I’m really happy.
“He’s really close with the players. He’s always talking with us, asking what we think about what he says. You’re grateful to work with these type of managers.”