Barcelona Interviews

Ilaix’s father: “We gave up a lot of money because Ilaix wanted to play for Barça”

Ilaix Moriba in action during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Ilaix Moriba’s father, Mamady, attended Ser Catalunya’s ‘Que t’hi jugues’ program to review his son’s career at Barça and his recent explosion in the first team. He talked about his son’s performance, character, and desire to play for the club amid other things.

This is what he had to say :

On Ilaix’s last-minute shot in the Clasico :

 “It was an impressive shot. He didn’t score it, but everything will come.”

On his character and reaction to Casemiro’s foul on Messi :

“I like his attitude. He always has the same winning character, it is not something from today, he has been like this since he was little. All the coaches he has had at La Masía know of his winning character. On the field and outside, he has an impressive character. I liked his mentality in the game because you always have to protect your leader.”

On their relationship with Ansu :

“We are a family, we are not just friends. He has had a very bad time and we are with him. But this will end.”

On training :

“La Masía was the key to everything. I was calm when he got there. He has known how to endure, live without a mother, but it has been hard. His mother arrived yesterday, who was in my country and we’re all staying together. We’re giving him advice.”

On his agent :

“For now, I take care of it. He was with Jonathan Barnett for quite a few years, but now I represent him.”

On his future at Barça :

“We are not in a hurry. The future depends on the club. We are doing well here. I am very grateful to the Barça leaders. We have a friendship with the directors, Ramon Planes, and Bakero. We want to continue here if Barça wants.”

On Koeman :

 “I have no words for him, we have to thank him very much for what he has done for Ilaix and for the confidence he has given him.”

On Pogba :

“Paul Pogba is my countryman. My town and his are close, in Guinea. Since childhood, Ilaix has a similar style of play and some compare it. People also compare him to Yaya Touré, some say he has the style of Busquets. They are good comparisons, but Ilaix is ​​Ilaix. Hopefully, he will follow the same path as Busquets, who is a phenomenon.”

On Ramadan :

 “It started yesterday, we want you to respect our religion and we have this obligation.”

On the support for Barça from Guinea :

“I just arrived from my country and there almost all of Guinea supports Barça because of Ilaix. 90% of the country is following and supporting Barça for the opportunity they have given Ilaix.”

On interest from other clubs :

“When we went to negotiate, I said: I want Ilaix to be the example of La Masia. Despite the interest of many clubs, we signed the contract and the club bet heavily on him and thanks to his efforts, Koeman has given us the confidence. I have no words for him, I can just thank him. City, Chelsea, and Juve had stronger offers than Barça. With City, we canceled the trip the same day. I visited several other facilities, but we decided to stay at Barça.”