BARCELONA | SERGI ROBERTO
Sergi Roberto insists that Tata is “key” to his development
“The title race is extremely close – if we lose one game, Atlético or Madrid could overtake us. We cannot afford to relax in any game”.
In today’s press conference, FC Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto acknowledged that his progression this season has largely been down to the influence of coach, Tata Martino.
“Tata Martino is very important for me; he is always telling me that he has faith in me, that I am a good player and maybe he hasn’t given me the opportunities I deserve. I have never given up hope, I have kept working, I’ve been handed chances to play and I hope to repay him by playing well and helping out the team,” the player told journalists on Tuesday.
The midfielder, who had featured in the team’s last 12 games, is grateful to be gaining minutes. “If you had asked me a year ago, I would have been very happy to be in this situation. I’ve got a dozen outings under my belt and I’m just focused on working so that opportunities continue to arise,” he continued. Roberto insists that he has no intention of leaving Barça to try his luck elsewhere. “I made the right decision (to stay on at Camp Nou),” he said, adding that his game is improving under his mentor, Xavi Hernández. “He is one of the best players in the world; I would feel very proud if I turned out to become a player like him. There have been few players like him. I am learning a lot from Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets... If one day I become even just a part of who Xavi is, I will be very happy”.
As for the second half of the league campaign which the Blaugranas begin as winter champions, Roberto is expecting the return round of matches to be just as tough as the first was. “The title race is extremely close. I don’t know how many points will be needed to win the league but the way it’s looking, whoever wins must not concede many points. It’s very even at the moment - if we lose one game, Atlético or Madrid could overtake us. We cannot afford to relax in any game,” he concluded.