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Eric Garcia: I hope I have a career like Piqué’s

Eric Garcia in action against Real Sociedad / FC Barcelona.

Eric Garcia spoke to Mundo Deportivo on Friday. Where he talked about Koeman’s trust, Pique, and much more.

Here is what Eric had to say:

On starting against La Real, after arriving two days before the game:

“The truth is that everything happened very fast. I did not expect to play the game against Real Sociedad, but I am very grateful for the confidence the coach has shown in me.”

On his dream debut:

“Debuting at Barca is always a dream, it was the first league game and also the day fans returned back to the Camp Nou. It was a very special game for me.”

On the confidence Koeman has shown in him:

“I am very grateful to him, for the trust he placed in me.”

On if the coach asked for something special:

“He spoke to the team generally, about the things he wanted us to do defensively and offensively, that was it.”

If Pique gave him advice before the game:

“We did talk a bit before the game, went over things the coach asked us, but nothing in particular”.

On comparisons to Pique:

“Hopefully in a few years, I can say that I have had the career Pique had. He has been and is one of the best center-backs in the history of the game. Playing alongside him and learning from him, in training is incredible.

On if he can play with Pique due to them having similar profiles:

“The other day we complemented each other very well. It’s the first game and you can’t draw too many conclusions, but I felt very comfortable playing alongside him.”

On Puyol (his idol and former agent):

“I talked to him a lot during my time at La Masia. In Manchester, not so much. He is my reference, my idol. I grew up watching him play at Camp Nou. Now that it’s my turn to play on the field, it’s an incredible feeling.”

On why he chose #24:

“It is true that there were not many numbers to choose from. The club showed me a photo of Puyol with number 24 and I decided to take it.”

On if #10 was offered:

“No, no, not that one (laughs).”

On when he decided it was time to come back:

“When I told Manchester City that I did not want to renew, I knew there was interest from Barca. I made it clear to them, that I did not want to renew because I wanted to return here.”

On whether Guardiola understood his decision:

“Yes, he understood my decision. I am very grateful to him.”

On whether La Masia players should come back after leaving:

“I had to make a decision, when I finished the cadet stage, together with my family and my agent. We decided it was best to go to Manchester. Now that I am here again, I can tell you that I think it was a good decision. At that time, I thought it was the best decision I could make.”

On his last summer and winter (when Manchester City did not let him leave):

“I was very calm, I knew that I had to wait until there was a president. I focussed on football in Manchester. With whom we had many important things to fight for. I was convinced that if something would happen, my agent would let me know.”

On if the comeback was getting complicated:

“I was a little away from everything. My representative was the one informing me when there was something. I was focused on the club because we were playing for the Premier League and Champions League.

On a salary reduction before joining the club:

“It is true. A new president arrived, we had to resume the talks.”

On what he learned from Guardiola:

“Being able to participate in a league as physically demanding as the Premier League and being able to work with a coach like him, has taught me a lot. Especially, positionally, tactically, trying to read what is going to happen before it happens. This is very important, Pep has taught me many things, he is a great coach and I am very happy to have trained under him.”

On Luis Enrique:

“Yes, the truth is Luis is quite similar to Pep. They communicate clearly and convey the message very well to the player.”

On Koeman:

“He is a coach who has clear ideas. Who asks the team to play in a certain way. I am very happy working with him.”

On the atmosphere of the dressing room:

“The squad has welcomed me very well. I already knew some players, Busi, Alba, and Sergi Roberto from the national team. The truth is that the reception has been very good.”

On not being able to play with Messi:

“You don’t have to talk much about who Leo is. I was ecstatic to play with him, but in football, these things happen and that’s it.”

On Aguero and his injury record:

“There should be little doubt about Kun. He is a great striker and has been showing it for years. He is a born scorer and I am sure he will help us a lot.”

On Pedri:

“Pedri is a very special player, one of those born with talent. He is a great player, we have seen it this year. The things he has accomplished with the club and national team are incredible. We are delighted to have him here and I hope he continues where he left off.”

On if Barca can win the treble:

“If you come to Barca, you already know that it is a club in which you are required to win. It is the best club in the world. We must have a clear conscience, knowing that we have to win. We have a very good team. Hopefully, we can achieve as many titles as possible. For the fans, who also could not come to the field last year.”

On if Barca can compete against Europe’s biggest clubs:

“We have to be true to our style. We have a very good team. We are going to improve a lot, and we must be in the fight. It is not something with which we obsess a lot, but we must go with patience. In the first few matches, it is important to obtain good results, leave a good image. Then, surely the confidence will grow.”

That concludes Eric Garcia’s interview.