Alexis Sanchez has reflected on his feeling that Barcelona ‘is an education’ and his intention to honour his contract in the face of transfer speculation.
The 24-year-old has encountered a difficult second season at Barca and has been the subject of countless rumours that he will leave the Camp Nou in the summer and return to Italy.
However, the player has reflected on his intention to stay in La Liga and on how he feels like he has had to start over in Catalonia.
“I am calm. I am focused on the Champions League matches, I want to win and I want to fulfil my contract, which ends in 2016. I’m fine,” asserted Alexis to La Vanguardia today.
“For me, Barca is an education as a club. This is a club that teaches you a lot, as a person and a player, a club that takes care of both and in which I hope to learn as much as I can and to push myself to the maximum.
“What do I mean about learning? As a player, as a person, it is like learning in the field. Because I am not just playing football, I am learning to play football again.
“There are things I cannot do but I have to try to do to support the team. At Barca I feel I’m learning to play football again.
“What I already knew I have to re-start from the beginning, as if I have just started playing football, clearly adding to my abilities.
“There are a lot of things for why I am learning. The system, the quality of the players, this team has far much more possession than any other in the world, there is constant movement, creating spaces. This all makes you play football in another way.
“A footballer obviously needs to also grow as a person, and to me the person is more important than the player.
“I, for example, see Xavi and I admire him as a person, I know what a great player he is, but I admire him more as a person, he is very polite, outgoing, likes to share and much more.”
The former Udinese man has struggled for goals this season.
“I like to improve every day, I never settle for anything. I can get a goal, two, three, and finish the game and start thinking that I have not done a great match.
“I want to do things perfectly, perhaps in thinking about trying to do things perfectly it counts against me.
“Have I had bad luck in front of goal this year? Maybe, but the chances are there and I have created others, I am there, and the goals will come, they will arrive.
“Probably right now I am not lucky, but there are times like this and they are the most difficult.”
Alexis has been criticised in his own country for telling reporters that he ‘is a great player’ when asked about his tough season in Spain.
“What’s said is said. I cannot take it back, whilst it was at a moment that was very heated, I was very angry because we had a very important match against Uruguay and I was suspended for a second yellow.
“I got angry, and had heard things and when I got to the airport I had something to say and I should have expressed it another way, whilst I did really bad for the fans and for me too.
“I should not have said it, but there is no turning back, so I say that it is better not to talk.”
The Chilean international was asked if the total €45m sum Barca could pay for him depending on clauses has been a reason for the criticism he has faced.
“Maybe, maybe not. I feel calm, I think I can give much more. When I scored 15 goals last season nobody said anything, this year I have six goals, there have been opinions from everyone, some strong, and some bad, but others have been okay.
“But I have to have confidence in my ability and I have to move on.”