Vezenkov recalls his bitter time at Barça: “I don’t think I deserved what I went through”

04/16/2023 at 13:34


How many times has an irresistible opportunity come into our lives and we have not been able to take advantage of it because it was too soon? Something similar had to happen to him in his day Sasha Vezenkov when I land in 2015 and with barely 19 years in it FC Barcelona, after having confirmed himself in Thessaloniki as one of the most promising players on the continental scene.

At Aris, the club where he started his professional career in 2011, managed to burn stages at a demonic speed, getting to get the ‘MVP’ of the season in a league full of stars in the historical Olympiakos y Panathinaikos. Perhaps the logical thing in his career would have been to make the leap to one of the greats in Greece, but the train had not passed (yet) and destiny pointed towards the Barça club.

Discreet passage through Barcelona

At Barca, things did not go well for Vezenkov. signed a contract for four seasons, the last optional. A clause that was not executed in 2018 in a decision that was within logic due to what was exhibited by the player on the track. Beyond some good performance, with his threat from outside and his power to reach the basket, the player, who played as ‘4’ for the Barça team, was always on hand sombra from other classmates like Justin Doellman o Pierre Oriola.

The most recent worst stage of the team

But was it solely the player’s fault that his time at Barça was not successful? In recent seasons, the team has recovered its natural habitat in both the ACB and the Euroleague, but we must not forget that From 2015 to 2018, the Barça section surely experienced the darkest years in recent memory, marked by instability both on the bench and in the squad block, as well as by the relentless dominance of Real Madrid. Going back to the coaching plot, it should be remembered that Vezenkov had up to four different trainers (Xavi Pascual, Georgios Bartzokas, Sito Alonso and Svetislav Pesic) in his three seasons as Barcelona.

Now, the player’s reality is diametrically opposed to the one he lived in Barcelona. The forward returned to the Hellenic country at the hands of Olympiacos, and after a few seasons of re-adaptation and regaining confidence and sensations, Vezenkov has been performing at a very high level for two seasons, confirming himself as one of the best players of the old continent. If last year he already managed to ‘sneak’ into the ideal quintet of the season in the Euroleague, this season he will be awarded the ‘MVP’ of the course, after having averaged 17.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per match with Olympiacos, leader of the regular phase of the competition.

Vezenkov has attended the media ‘SportKlub’ in recent hours to review his current situation, without losing sight of the horizon NBA, but also to take a look at the past. And in those previous chapters is his stage as a Barça player, in which he has good memories, and not so good memories of his time with the Catalan team.

“I discovered where my psychological limits were”

“Yes, it was an important and special stage in my life. I was in a situation where I was able to meet where my limits were on a psychological level, to endure without giving up or breaking. I had a good time but it was really hard. Also for Barça as a club, since they didn’t have a winning team like the one there is now. I have never blamed anyone for this, but I think I didn’t deserve what I went through, although I can accept that I made mistakes and that maybe I wasn’t ready and had to work more”, comments Vezenkov candidly.

Vezenkov: “I can be the best”

“It was a nice experience. I made friends for life but it served me to show that I don’t give up, and that no one, including the coach, can tell me what I can and cannot do. I work to prove to myself, first to myself, that I can be the best” admit.

No sign of Pascual, Sito or Pesic as reference coaches

In addition to returning to Greece, Sasha has been reunited with Bartzokas in Piraeus, surely, the coach with whom he has felt the greatest ‘feeling’: “We have a special relationship. I’m not saying we’re friends, but we have a good relationship. He tops the list of my favorite coaches.” explains a Vezenkov in whose list neither Pascual, nor Alonso, nor Pesic are found.

The NBA, not at any price

Lastly, and after the siren songs he had playing in the NBA last summer, the forward has acknowledged that he would like to play in the best basketball league on the planet, but not at any price: “Of course it is a dream for anyone who plays basketball. But I’m not going to do it just to say I did it. If the situation is good, the team wants me and we find the way and the opportunity, something can happen”, he concludes.

2023-04-16 11:34:05
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