Barcelona new signing Memphis Depay says he’s not bothered if he’s called a “rebel” and also admitted that he feels “blessed” to have joined the Catalan giants.
The Netherlands international has arrived on a free transfer from Lyon and has already made an impact at the club, scoring on his debut for Barcelona in a pre-season friendly win over Girona on Saturday.
Memphis has now been talking about how he is often perceived and is happy if he is seen as a rebellious character, according to Diario Sport’s Sergi Capdevila.
“I don’t care if they call me a rebel,” he said. “In fact, I see it as something positive on the pitch. Would Luis Suárez have scored so many goals and lifted so many titles if he were the boy who was the most sweet on the pitch? I don’t know why ‘rebel’ has negative connotations.”
The 27-year-old also spoke about how he’s been warmly welcomed at the Camp Nou since joining the club and is enjoying every minute. He added. “I feel good. For me it is a blessing to be here. The reception has been incredible. Obviously it is tiring to attend so many interviews and events, but I am doing it with energy and patience. I am enjoying this first week and my first match.”
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Memphis Prophecy Comes True
Memphis has enjoyed a varied career so far playing for clubs including PSV, Manchester United and Lyon before arriving at Barcelona. Yet club president Joan Laporta revealed at Memphis’s official presentation that his family always hoped he’d play at the Camp Nou.
“His mother told me that when he was five years old, his grandfather gave him a Barça shirt as a gift. It was a prophecy,” he said. Memphis then confirmed the story and added, “I’m sure he would have been a very proud man today.”
The transfer sees Memphis link up with Netherlands teammate Frenkie de Jong at Barca as well as former national team boss Ronald Koeman. The Barca boss reportedly wants to play Memphis as his No. 9 next season in attack alongside Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati.
Memphis Explains Shirt Choice
It remains to be seen if Memphis will be handed the No. 9 shirt next season, as it currently belongs to Martin Braithwaite, but the Dutchman will have his first name on his shirt rather than his family name.
The forward has been happy to explain why he prefers to have Memphis printed on his back rather than Depay, as reported by Marca. The Dutchman told the BBC that he is keen not to have any links to his father who abandoned him as a young child.
“I will never forgive him,” he said. “Do not call me Depay, call me Memphis. No, I don’t want to explain exactly what happened at home because I don’t want to make people feel ashamed. And that’s how it will remain because I’ve already moved on.”
Memphis will now be looking to make his first start for Barcelona and could be in the starting line-up for the Catalans’ next friendly on Saturday against Bundesliga side Stuttgart.