Featured Interviews

Emerson: “I know I’ll get minutes because I’ll fight to earn them”

Emerson during his first La Liga game for Barça / URBANANDSPORT/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

Emerson Royal spoke to Sport on Friday, where he talked about competing with Sergiño Dest, not being able to play with Messi and more.

Emerson (22) is the latest Brazilian to have made his debut for FC Barcelona. He was already signed in 2019 but was loaned out to Real Betis immediately as both clubs paid a part of his transfer fee. The right-back appeared 73 times for the Sevillian team and scored four goals. He also stood out for his national team, where he has already played four games in the first team.

About his first weeks in Barcelona:

“I’m very happy. It’s a pleasure to be here. The city is very beautiful and different, similar to some cities in my country. There’s a beach and warm weather. I’m very happy about my first few weeks.”

“My teammates have helped me a lot from the first day. I’m improving each training and adapting to the Barça style, which is a little different from the one at Betis. Over here, the ball moves a little faster, but I’m adapting very well and I’m very happy.”

“At Barça, there are players with a lot of quality who also are incredible people. They make me feel like I’m at home. Everything has been very easy for me.”

About not being able to play with Messi:

“It’s a pity. We all wanted to play with the best player in the world, with the best footballer in Barça’s history. It’s a shame, but we have a very competitive team. Now is the time to be united, together, to achieve our goals. And to work a lot, obviously.”

About revealing his ambitions to play for Barça when he was still at Betis, which didn’t land well with all Betis fans:

“Whenever they asked me about my future, I told the truth. I respected Betis and worked hard to help the club, but I couldn’t lie. I have always wanted to be at Barça and that was my main objective. When my contract ended, they told me about other interested teams and I didn’t listen to anything. It was clear to me that I wanted to be here and I’m very happy to have achieved it.”

“At Betis, I had a lot of space to play in. With Rubi, I had all of the right-wing for myself and a lot of freedom of movement. At Barcelona, I have to develop myself in smaller spaces and collaborate in getting the ball out. I have to get a little more used to it, but they are things that I’m going to polish little by little.”

“My time at Betis gave me a lot of confidence. I came from Brazil, from a completely different style of football, and I had to adapt quickly because the team urgently needed a full-back. I had to learn Spanish to understand what my teammates and the coach wanted to tell me. Sevilla is a very nice place to live. It’s similar to Barcelona. A little smaller, but I really liked it.”

About his debut:

“It’s a feeling that can’t be explained. When you have a dream and you fulfil it, it’s incredible. You have to experience that feeling to be able to understand it. On the day of the Gamper game, I was very happy. I want to keep working to play many more games in this shirt.”

“I know that I will be given minutes on the pitch because I will fight to earn them. I’m going little by little, I’m not in a hurry. I will do my best to play many games for Barça.”

About himself as a player and as a person:

“I’m a player who has a lot of physical strength, who competes a lot and tries to do things the way they have to be done. I’m not afraid of failing and only think about doing my job well and improving day by day. I’m not someone who says what I want to achieve or make promises. There are things I want to do but I don’t tell anyone because I have to do the work myself. I like to motivate myself and constantly find things to improve.”

“I’m a happy, cheerful person, who is always making jokes. I don’t do it that much here yet, because I don’t know all my teammates, but little by little I’m getting into it. Piqué and Jordi Alba are the ones that make to most jokes.”

“My aunt gave me the nickname ‘Royal’ because I used to open my mouth and cry a lot when I was a kid. I didn’t like it at first, but I got used to it. It’s normal for little kids to cry a lot, but I have to admit that I cried too much when I got older as well.”

About Koeman and the dressing room:

“Koeman asks me to improve every day, to enhance my strengths and, above all, make progress in my weak spots. He also insists a lot that I remain myself and focus on doing what I do best.”

“I talk to everyone, obviously. There are very good people in the locker room. I get along especially well with Coutinho and Neto, who are also Brazilian and speak Portuguese, and with Araujo.”

“My relationship with Sergiño Dest is very good. I have no problem with him and the other way around. He is an amazing person, I talk to him almost every day and we joke with each other. He is a fantastic player who has a lot of quality.”

About Dani Alves:

“What I like the most about Alves is his character. He is a very competitive player, who always wants to win. I’m the same and I think I got here thanks to this quality. I want to fight for big things, for titles.”