BarcelonaThe Camp Nou has ruled: it wants a new fire. Against Bayern, the nearly 40,000 spectators in the stadium applauded every race of Gavi and Balde, and listened to Sergi Roberto, who was whistled when he was replaced. Only four years after his flight without a motor that allowed Luis Enrique’s Barça to eliminate PSG in a 6-1 thrashing, the Reus native has become one of the asses of the blows of a fan who wants to close a stage . The player’s surroundings deny that Roberto ended up crying in the locker room, but they admit that the Camp Nou’s reaction left him speechless. The La Masia footballer has had to live an ascent to the heavens, followed by a rapid descent into purgatory. Few players have been able to experience first-hand the sensations he experienced when he scored for PSG, but it happens to fatten the list of players whistled by his own fans. A very long list, as Barcelona is usually demanding. When he’s a home player, though, it hurts more.
Beyond his performance against Bayern, in which he was repeatedly beaten by Davies on the side, the fans did not forgive one of the players who have not yet closed the salary cut that footballers like Piqué completed ago weeks. “It has played against us not to have signed it,” they admit to the player’s environment, recalling that Sergi Roberto’s case is different because he is also negotiating, within the same conversations, the contract extension. But fans have lost patience and are looking for culprits. “Sometimes when you’re a house player more is expected of you,” Albert Ferrer acknowledges. In fact, Sergio Busquets and especially Jordi Alba also received criticism and the fans shyly whistled at them in the first games of this season, when they had not yet agreed on the salary reduction. As captains, a step forward was expected of them, which in Roberto’s case is late. The Camp Nou, the best stadium in the world on nights like PSG’s, can make a player who whistles at you feel very small. “It’s not an experience you want to live,” Ferrer admits. In fact, for many years players like Xavi or Puyol explained to the new signings or the players of the Masia that it is always better to give everything, because the stadium, when it gets angry, can end your career.
In Barça’s offices, however, it is clear that the reaction of the members will not affect the renewal of the Reus native, who is “taken for granted”. “We consider the renovation closed,” Eduard Romeu, the club’s economic vice-president, told RAC1’s microphones. “I honestly didn’t understand why they were whistling at him. And I asked a fellow board member why they were doing it. Sergi Roberto is one of the heroes. I don’t understand, it’s a mistake to do that. He’s made a very important effort and it must be recognized “. In fact, in the area of the market some managers even reprimanded the whistles to the partners they had nearby, which led to a tense exchange of views.
Whistles against Bayern have postponed signing for a few days to wait for the atmosphere to calm down. The agreement, which has almost been closed, would mean a reduction in salary, but also guarantee that the player will be able to continue almost his entire career at Barça, at least until 2024, with an option to extend it. The salary reduction would be approximately 35%, a reduction that would take effect at the time of signing and that does not apply directly to the salary, because as has happened in the case of other captains, the player waives easy clauses compliance that would almost certainly have charged. At 29, Roberto ends his contract in the summer of 2022, but at the moment he has no plans to leave the club, although he does not rule out a last adventure in a league like the United States.
Leave the right side
Sergi Roberto was shown a yellow card after 80 minutes for slicing down an opponent. “Sergi Roberto’s whistles hurt,” said Gerard Piqué. “He’s a spectacular person and he loves the club like no other. “adapt to the position. I’m sorry for the whistles, but people are free to comment.” Ronald Koeman went in the same direction and recalled that for a footballer who is a midfielder playing in the band against a footballer as fast as Davies “is very complicated”. Midfielder most of his career, Roberto, who made his debut under Pep Guardiola, began playing as a right winger when the coach was Luis Enrique, who was looking for a solution to the loss of Dani Alves. In recent seasons he has become international with Spain in the band, although during the years of Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setién the Reus was losing weight until disappearing from the middle of the field and end up playing when he could in a side position which he has never finished making his own. Sergi Roberto’s entourage explains that this season the player faced him with optimism, as Koeman had told him that he sees him playing in the middle of the field and not in the band. The losses of the equipment and the problems of a Sergiño Dest that returned touched of the parties with the United States, however, returned Sergi Roberto to the lateral one against the Bayern. And he didn’t live up to it.
Now Roberto hopes to start against Granada in the middle of the field, as the loss of Pedri allows him to have more chances. And if things go well, he hopes to be able to announce next week the agreement to renew with Barça. The Reus native is still confident of regaining the esteem of the fans by playing in the position where he has always wanted to play, in the middle of the field. A position from which he has already scored two goals this season, one against Real Sociedad – Barça’s first this season – and another against Getafe. Then Sergi Roberto thought the season could be good. The joy did not last long.