The Barcelona manager Tata Martino declared himself happy with what he had got as the summer transfer window drew to a close, despite fans and media alike wondering why in earth one of the biggest clubs in the world had failed to sign a centre back, when it seemed blatantly clear they needed one.
Well I don’t know if it was a piece of man-management genius or simply his true belief, but the young Spanish defender Marc Bartra seems to have responded to the confidence vote in his ability. The 22-year old has been thrown into the fray due to the injury picked up by Mascherano. That again was a vote of confidence by Martino, because in the past Barcelona have used Adriano and Song when desperate.
22-year old Bartra has responded well and started to look at home in the team. With his current contract due to expire next summer, this year could be make or break for Bartra, so he is clearly delighted to get this chance to prove his worth and repay the faith if his new manager.
He said, “I’m very happy with how things are going. The important thing is to continue at this level and play big games with the team.
“It’s a reward for all the hard work. I’ve been here 10 years and I have not had it easy.
“I feel more loved now because I’ve been competing with them two years, receiving many tips from the best in the world.”
Bartra is well aware that he will struggle to get much play when Puyol and Mascherano are fit again, but another strong performance alongside Pique tomorrow will go a long way to earning him a new contract.