‘I Did Not Want To Leave:’ Defender Opens Up on Barcelona Exit

Barcelona

Getty Xavi Simons says Barca don't spend much time in the gym.

Brazilian full-back Emerson Royal was officially a Barcelona player for just a matter of weeks in 2021 before being sold to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of 29 million.

Emerson has now opened up on his brief time with the Catalan giants and told Cadena SER he did not want to leave but was willing to move to help the club’s difficult financial situation.

“Barça were going through a very complicated economic moment, and I had good options for me here at Tottenham, in a league that is the best in the world. Barça needed money. I helped Barça and Barça helped me,” he said. “I wanted to succeed at Barça. I had that desire, and I was going for it. When I arrived in Barcelona, I saw the club’s situation, and they talked to me. The decision was very complicated because I didn’t want to leave. But then I chose to leave because I saw that it was the best option for me.”

The defender originally arrived in Spain from Atletico Mineiro as part of a three-way agreement between the Brazilian team, Barca, and Real Betis. The defender spent two seasons on loan at Betis before arriving at the Camp Nou in summer 2021.

Barca recalled Emerson from Betis by paying a fee of 9 million to activate a clause in his contract. The defender managed just three appearances in La Liga for the Catalans before being sold on to Spurs for a profit on a five-year deal.

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Emerson Eying World Cup Glory

Emerson seems to be enjoying life at Tottenham. The defender has featured in 23 of the team’s 30 Premier League games so far under Antonio Conte. Spurs are currently fourth in the table with eight games left to play.

The defender is also eying glory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Emerson also spoke about how he is hoping to make Tite’s squad for the finals and wants to bring home the famous trophy.

“I’m in the best league in the world. I’m going to fight until the last minute so that my name is on the call,” he said. “You have to work very hard to make Brazil the favorite and win the World Cup.”

Brazil have been drawn in Group G and will take on Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon in the group stages of the competition.


Right Back Still an Issue for Barcelona

Meanwhile, the right-back slot remains an issue for Barcelona. Dani Alves and Sergino Dest are currently battling for the position but both are facing uncertain futures at the Camp Nou.

Alves has been brought back for a second spell and has become a regular since returning in January on a free transfer. However, the veteran will turn 39 in May and it’s not clear yet if he will be offered a new contract after his current deal expires at the end of the campaign.

Dest has found himself behind Alves in the pecking order and has endured a difficult 2021-22 campaign at Barca. The USMNT star has missed chunks of the season through injury and struggled to impress Xavi after the coach first arrived to replace Ronald Koeman.

The 21-year-old has improved in 2022 and has drawn praise from his coach for his performances. However, Barcelona continue to be linked with right-backs, such as Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui and Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, ahead of the summer transfer window.

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