Former FC Barcelona winger Konrad de la Fuente, who joined Marseille on June 29 for €3 million, spoke to ESPN about his time at the Catalan club, his move to Ligue 1, and his desire to return to Barça.
The 20-year old U.S. international joined La Masia at age 12 and spent most of his senior career in Catalunya with Barcelona B. Despite being called up to the first team last season, he only made three appearances in all competitions for Ronald Koeman’s side and chose to leave the club to continue his development.
Here is what he had to say in the interview:
About leaving Barça this summer
“I’m an ambitious person, so for me, it wasn’t that hard to leave [Barcelona]. My goal is to end up playing for Barcelona one day, and I know that the best way for that to happen was to leave, because I need to get those first division minutes.”
About why he chose to join Marseille
“I had some good offers — I chose to go to Marseille. The best thing I could have done for my development was to start getting professional minutes early, to grow as a player and hopefully one day get back to Barcelona.”
About asking the first team coaching staff to let him play for Barça B
“If they were sure I had no chance of playing with the first team on the weekend, I would just stay with Barça B on that Saturday and train with Barça B. Then on Sunday, I just played. That way, I got to play consecutive games without skipping any, and that [continuity] really helped.”
About his mentality on the field
“Every player I think has their own small game within the game. Mine is just dealing with the guy that’s marking me, just going at him all the time, beating him 1-on-1, creating chances, and scoring.”
About his style of play under Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli
“He wants me to push the ball forward any time I get the chance. Stay open when I get the ball, push the other team’s defense back, go 1-on-1. Create scoring chances as much as I can. If I’m in training and I try to play simple, he’s like, ‘no, every time I need you to continue to go,’ so that it comes natural in the games. I’m not stopping.”
About his experience at Marseille so far
“So far it’s turned out really well for me. I’m really happy.”