Espanyol defender Martin Demichelis assures “I’m very close to my best” after the start of his Periquitos career “backfired”.
Demichelis had to wait until a fortnight ago to make his Espanyol debut, despite arriving from Manchester City back in August, and the veteran admits his decision to play with Argentina just days after his move severely harmed his preparation, although he is now at Quique Sanchez Flores’ disposal.
“I need to play because you can work well for a long time, but playing gives you something more than training does,” he told Sport ahead of Sunday’s match against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
“I’m passionate about last weekend because it was my turn to play. What I enjoy is feeling like a footballer.
“I’m very close to my best as I was far from the physical and footballing level that I needed to be at.
“A few days [after I signed], I went away with Argentina, a source of pride and the pinnacle for me, but it backfired. It put me back in my preparation.
“Athletic? The time has come for Espanyol fans to enjoy themselves and us to win at home.
“We always have the stimulus of winning because we have a competitive squad.
“They’re a team that will come here to impose themselves from the first minute, plus the idea of winning.
“There’s nothing we can speculate in the game, other than being protagonists.”