Seydou Keita has spoken of the difficulty in leaving Barcelona this summer and on how he still follows their games in China.
The Mali international is based out in the Asian country now, after a transfer earlier this year to Super League side Dalian Aerbin.
“It was a difficult decision to leave the club, but the club and I took the best decision for both,” he reflected to La Xarxa
“Even for some of the players from Barca’s youth team, they have not finished their career with the club either. For me it was an honour to play at this club for four years, it was incredible.
“The best years of my career were at Barcelona, on and off the field. Players, fans, directors…I’ve only had good times there.
“Now I am playing in China and I’m happy. I’m still following Barca because they are a club that has given me everything.
“It’s been an amazing start for the club this year. Barca is the best club in the world. Madrid have started badly, but more importantly Barca keeps winning and are not looking at what they are doing.
“There is no different at Barca under Tito and under Guardiola, it is the same. Nothing has changed. Tito is like Pep, they have the same players and it is the same system. The story continues.
“I watch the games and often I sleep very late because I want to see them play.”
The latest game Keita watched was the weekend win over Granada, which needed a late goal from Xavi Hernandez to set the team on their way.
“I saw the goal by Xavi, yes. He has been playing at Barcelona since his childhood, and for him and the club it would be wonderful for him to retire at Barca.
“He is an incredible player, he is at a very high level. With all the titles that he has won, Xavi deserves the Ballon d’Or, but whether he wins it or not doesn’t’ change anything about his career.”
The midfielder also gave a glowing reference for his replacement at the club, Alex Song.
“Song is a great guy and a very good player. At Barca it is not easy, but he is adapting quickly and perfectly. I have no doubt about his quality, I am sure he will be fine.”