Marc Bartra's career at Barça had a turning point on April 16, 2014. In the final stretch of the season of that team that then led Tata Martino, he also played the Copa final against Real Madrid. The central scored 69th goal of the tie, but the key move would reach five minutes to the end. Gareth Bale took the ball on the counter attack. Bartra was not strong enough at the start and the Welshman kept firing towards goal, and scored what would end up being the goal of the Real Madrid win. All eyes were directed towards the young central, who, slightly injured, had to ask for the change. "That day they put the cross to it", they remember from the Sport City.
It is not that he was punished directly, or that he was considered the sole responsible for that defeat when the whole team failed. Simply, that in the sports dome they were beginning to make it clear that, sooner or later, that player should end up looking for life far from Barça. Since that summer he went to the exit ramp. Two seasons later, in 2016, he agreed to pack his bags to Dortmund. A year and a half later, in January 2018, he was climbing to Betis de Quique Setién train, where he had recovered his best version and recovered a place in the Spanish team.
Bartra returns this afternoon to the Camp Nou, the stadium where he fulfilled the dream of any child trained in La Masia. He played seven seasons, four of which with the first team card, but never finished being the head coach, always behind Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano. Even Jérémy Mathieu passed him in front. "He had talent but he lacked continuity to take the final step forward," point from Sant Joan Despí. The club facilitated the departure with a section on his contract that lowered the rescue clause in the case of playing few games, as it was: from 40 million to 8. The Dortmund was going to look for and Bartra made the luggage In fact, he was about to leave a year earlier, in 2015, but decided to stay one more season after a meeting with the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the coach, Luis Enrique, and coinciding with him fact that his first daughter had just been born. The following summer, when Samuel Umtiti arrived at Barça, he agreed to leave. He was 25 years old.
"It's strange. That moment should have been horrible for me. The fact of leaving the equipment of my childhood … But, you know what? I was really happy I knew that a new adventure started at the Borussia Dortmund, "Bartra told the magazine a few months ago The Players' Tribune. After 103 games and seven goals, he left without tears and with his bag full of enthusiasm to find out what he had not found at the Camp Nou.
Sweet bitters by Germany
Bartra arrived at Borussia Dortmund, a club that with Thomas Tuchel coach received him with open arms and made him a place for the top ten. But luck would not accompany her. One year later the BVB changed coaches and Dutchman Peter Bosz could only stand mid-season on the bench. His relief, Peter Stöger, made it clear in December that he did not count on the player of Sant Jaume dels Domenys. A decision that did not end up understanding the fans, but that did not hesitate the player, who, in a year he still dreamed to enter the list to be at the World Cup, took refuge with Betis de Quique Seven
Bartra's move to Germany was not easy, despite ownership. The process of adaptation was added to the attack that suffered on the Dortmund bus while on the way to a Champions League match against Monaco, where he was injured and needed to be operated urgently on his wrist. Not only that, he also had to overcome the "trauma and nightmares" that he pursued him almost every day. When he returned to play, almost a month later, he could not contain tears of emotion.
From Betis to the selection
Once in Seville, Bartra met his goal in half. He was a fix on eleven, yes, although he did not have enough merits to convince the coach, Julen Lopetegui, and was left out of Russia 2018. However, the relay on the bench of the red one and the arrival of Luis Enrique has opened the doors to him one by one. "I went to Betis to be happy playing soccer. Everything that he was looking for is being fulfilled here, "the central said a few days ago, that it will not fail in the team's eleven players that will jump on the lawn at the Camp Nou on Sunday. It will be the first time you step on it his Stage with a rival team's shirt.
With 27 years, and still a few seasons of soccer in the boots, the question for Marc Bartra is whether to stay in the green-and-white club or take another step in a more enthusiastic team. A doubt that has long been tapping him inside. Quique Setién himself, in tone of praise, commented in an interview with RAC1 that "many times" tells the footballer that "something should not be doing well to be Betis, a team that is lesser in theory and has less potential ". In fact, these statements sparked an avalanche of criticism against Setien by bettors who considered it a way to disdain their club, considering it inferior, for example, to Barça.
Marc Bartra has preferred not to make this debate bigger, focusing on the game with a good game against Milan against the Europa League on Thursday. For now, the Catalan central is clear that his place is in Seville, with the green-and-white t-shirt of Betis. Later on, you'll see it.