Marc Bartra has reflected on his growing confidence at Barcelona this season and his hope to stay beyond this season with the club.
The 22-year-old has managed consecutive starts for the Catalans this past week in light of a number of injuries to personnel in the back-line and sees his confidence growing as a result, as he heads into this weekend’s clash with Real Valladolid.
“I’m very happy with how things are going. The most important thing is to maintain the team’s current level,” Barta considered to reporters this week.
“We have faced some big games because there were absentees, but we have kept to the same level and have worked in training for that.
“I had the desire to do well and have felt very comfortable alongside Gerard, Busi and Dani.
“I am happy with everything. I have been here for 12 years, I have not had anything easy. Nothing has been given to me and everything I have learnt has been from here.
“I feel valued and it is good that the Coach has confidence in me and in my teammates. I have been competing for two years in the world’s best in training and I have received a lot of advice.”
The centre-back was asked of last season seeing Adriano and Alex Song played out of position on the pitch ahead of him in defence.
“These were not easy situations for me. The bigger the challenge, the more you work. Bringing out the good from the bad is the best thing that can be done, whilst in my head has been perseverance, working day by day and improvement.
“Whilst I have not had many minutes, each day to be with these players has taught me a lot.
“My head has always been at Barcelona. It has never entered my head to leave. Maybe it would have been different if another centre-back had been signed. In preseason, I did have my doubts. But Martino declined to sign anyone and I think things have gone well. The stats and records suggest that.”
Bartra’s current contract expires at the end of the season and reports are that he has yet to open negotiations on an extension, with efforts focused instead on Andres Iniesta.
“The scenario is the same. My head is in the club and what is important is that I feel secure. I’m very relaxed.
“This thing is between my agent and the club and I should be focused on the day to day. I have been 12 year here. Barca has given me everything and hopefully I can spend more time here.”