Barcelona defender aims for greatness, continues to overtrain

Date:

Barcelona's Danish defender #15 Andreas Christensen and French defender #23 Jules Kounde challenge Real Madrid's Brazilian forward #07 Vinicius Junior for the ball during the Spanish Super Cup final football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh, on January 14, 2024.
Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

There is no doubt that FC Barcelona is not going through their best moment as a defensive unit. La Blaugrana have been quite leaky in terms of conceding goals this season, and it has reflected poorly on their overall results. For Barcelona to return to their best, they need their defensive strength back.

However, it is much deeper than just a lack of collective understanding between the defensive units. Even on an individual level, the defenders are not playing up to the levels expected of them. From Ronald Araujo to Jules Kounde, several of the team’s defenders have clearly shown themselves to be struggling.

Yet, any great player can make a valiant comeback given the right environment and dedication to do so. As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, that is exactly what Jules Kounde aspires to do and that is also reflected through his actions and devotion to his craft and how he aspires to achieve it.

After games, as per MD, the player has regularly been joining the training sessions typically conducted for the substitutes who did not get to play. Typically much more intense and direct compared to the recovery sessions for the starters and regulars, they test the players a lot with the fact in mind that they did not participate in the recent game.

However, Kounde acknowledges that he has not been at his best level. Aware of his shortcomings, and how he has definitely declined since his knee injury this season, the Frenchman aspires to reach his best levels again. One of European football’s best defenders last season, his objective lies in finding that version of himself again.

Having arrived in the summer of 2022 with a hefty €50 million price tag, Kounde was Barça’s big defensive bet. At a time of financial ruin, the Catalans made the effort to acquire his services from Sevilla. Almost immediately in that 2022/23 season, Kounde gave back to the club that believed in him.

Even now as he gradually lost his best levels, Kounde knows he can still compete. The likes of Pau Cubarsi, Ronald Araujo, Inigo Martinez and other talented defenders also aspire to reach for new heights, but Kounde needs to reach his own goal in order to carve out a place for himself in the team.

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