Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Malcom has revealed he “fulfilled a dream” by playing for Barcelona last season.
The forward player was on the books of the Catalan club last season and scored four goals in 24 appearances – with his most famous strike coming against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, while he also netted against Inter in the Champions League.
However, the 22-year-old started just six La Liga games for Barcelona following a €41m summer switch from Bordeaux in 2018 before moving to Russia last summer.
The Brazilian was set to join Roma from the French club before the Blaugrana moved at the eleventh hour to steal the deal, although then boss Ernesto Valverde did not grant him sufficient first-team opportunities.
One of the reported reasons for the Catalan giants being willing to sell Malcom last summer was he took up one of just three non-EU spots in the squad, while they were also desperate to balance their books financially.
“I left Barcelona on good terms and I just wanted to play football, all professional players want to play and Zenit wanted me to play and I chose Zenit,” Malcom explained in an interview with Marca.
“I had no problems and I left with no problems, I still talk sometimes with (sporting director, Eric) Abidal. I went to Zenit because I wanted to play.
“I left a little sad, but I knew I had fulfilled my dream. I played the Champions League, I scored. I scored against Real Madrid in El Clasico. And I left with a calm head because I did a good job.
“Barça has great players. Barcelona can be great because he who plays is a good footballer too and there are only great players there. In Barcelona a player enters, and another comes out and remains Barcelona in their mind.
“Barça does not change much, the system does not change much, it will always be a great club.”