Umtiti

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti has said that he is in good physical condition, and is waiting for the opportunity to play again. Umtiti is yet to make an appearance for the Blaugrana this season, but he did feature in few friendlies.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Umtiti said he feels ‘very good’ physically. The Frenchman added that he hasn’t played yet due to decisions taken by Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman.

“I feel very good physically,” said Umtiti. “I endure the training sessions, and I really want to play. I’m waiting for the moment to do it again, but on a physical level, I’m fine. Why haven’t I played? There is a coach who makes decisions, and I have to accept it. If I don’t play, I must train more than others, and show that I have the level to do so.”

Umtiti recently played in Barcelona’s closed-doors friendly with UE Cornella. However, he is yet to get a look-in in a competitive game this season. Umtiti believes the plethora of centre-backs in the Blaugrana’s squad could be a reason for that.

Barcelona currently have Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza and Umtiti in their squad.

“There are many centre-backs, you have to fight to play,” said Umtiti. “You can understand the competition, I like it. I will have to work more than my teammates. I don’t care; I like it.”

However, Umtiti has not asked Koeman for opportunities to play. Rather, the 27-year-old believes proving himself on the training ground would be the best way to convince his manager to select him in the playing XI.

“Asking Koeman for an opportunity? I can’t ask for anything, because the coach makes the decisions, and I have to accept them,” said Umtiti. “I must train and show that I am okay. I will not ask (for) it. I think it should not be done. I must prove it on the field.”

Samuel Umtiti feels there is a perception about him not putting in enough effort. But he added that it was completely false, saying:

“Nobody knows what I’ve done, and what I do. The workouts I do, the double sessions… I’m a worker. Football is my life; Barça is my life. When I don’t speak, people think that I do nothing, that I’m on the couch all day, but at home I work; I train every day.”

The Frenchman was also whistled by fans during Barcelona’s pre-season campaign, which he said was very hurtful.

“Whistles in pre-season? It hurt me a lot, honestly,” admitted Umtiti. “I never thought this could happen to me at this club because I love it; I love this club. I do everything, everything, to be okay. I have had hard times due to injuries, but in the end I do my job.”I had offers from other clubs, but I didn’t see myself anywhere else: Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti

Umtiti was linked with a move away from the club this summer. However, the centre-back stayed put and prolonged his stay at Barcelona. Umtiti, who has a contract with the club until 2023, said he is focused on succeeding at the Camp Nou for now.

“I don’t see myself playing for another club, no, impossible,” revealed Umtiti. “Right now, I have it very clear. I want to show that I have the level to play here. The most important thing is to get back and show everyone that Samu is okay. I’m convinced that I’ll fulfil my contract.”

The Barcelona defender added:

“Offers from other clubs? I had, but no, I didn’t see myself anywhere else.”

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