Barcelona star believes he is still a defender despite change in role

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Barcelona's Danish defender #15 Andreas Christensen attends a training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match against Paris SG at the training center in Barcelona on April 15, 2024.
Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

The acquisition of Andreas Christensen has been one of the most beneficial pieces of business conducted by FC Barcelona in the last few years. The Dane arrived at the Catalan club as a free agent after his contract with Chelsea expired, and played a key role in helping his new team win the La Liga title in his very first season in Spain.

He was a part of the backline, along with Kounde, Araujo, and Balde, that helped Barcelona keep a watertight defense, which in turn led to winning the Li Liga title in 2022-23. This season, he has also played at a very high level, although his role has changed, and he is not playing in the backline that regularly.

Despite these good performances, the Dane has been frequently linked with a move away from the club. However, as SPORT has reported, Christensen himself talked to the media and made it clear that he is happy at the Catalan club, and will be looking to remain for the entirety of his contract:

“I have no doubt that I will be here next season. I still have two years left on my contract, and I’m happy.”

This season, the Dane has been playing higher up the pitch than usual, as Xavi has experimented by using him in the midfield pivot position due to a shortage of options in that area. This experiment has turned out rather successful for the Barcelona manager, and Christensen explained how he is adapting to this new role:

“The adaptation was quick; I enjoy playing. Obviously, there are still many aspects I need to learn and improve. It wasn’t difficult because I’m a defender, and my role is mainly defensive, with the goal of providing some balance and preventing counterattacks, but obviously, I consider myself a defender.”

As for the center of the defense, Barcelona have been relatively stacked in that area, especially since Cubarsi’s breakout appearances. Christensen was full of praise for the new defensive star of the team:

“I can only have good words for him. He seized the opportunity from the very beginning. He integrated into the team very well. He helped us a lot. Not only him, but also Lamine and the other guys.”

“Imagine how much they helped us, they took us to another level. Everyone in the club is very impressed with their performance. They are very good players with the ball at their feet.”

There is no doubt that Cubarsi is one of the most impressive youngsters to have emerged from the Barcelona youth academy in recent years. Hopefully, more experienced players like Christensen can keep teaching him the art of excelling in this position, and thus help him become one of the top defenders in the world in the coming years.

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