‘Couldn’t sleep’… Out-of-favor Barcelona pivot remembers his last season


GIRONA, SPAIN - MAY 04: Oriol Romeu of FC Barcelona looks on during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Girona FC and FC Barcelona at Montilivi Stadium on May 04, 2024 in Girona, Spain.
Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Despite their weak financial condition, FC Barcelona were able to incorporate several important players in the last summer transfer window. Some of these players, like Ilkay Gundogan, have turned out to be highly successful bets from the club, while others, like Oriol Romeu, have not been able to perform up to the level required by the Catalan team.

The 32-year-old Spanish midfielder was expected to join the team to mitigate the impacts of the departure of Sergio Busquets last year, but despite some encouraging early performances, he receded into the background and was unable to become an important player for Xavi.

Now, even with Xavi’s departure, Romeu is facing a very uncertain future at Barcelona. As SPORT has reported, he appeared in an interview recently, where he talked about different aspects of his move and time at Barcelona.

The La Masia graduate talked about his last season at Barcelona and recognized that he himself made some mistakes:

“In terms of the physical aspect, it’s not what I would have liked. Mentally, it’s the same. Because of mistakes or individual performances, I’ve overthought things a bit and have been overanalyzing.”

However, he still believed he was fully capable of playing the role that Xavi had asked of him:

“Am I really capable? I’ve questioned it many times, but yes. When I was on the bench, I tried to mentally place myself in the game for when Xavi would tell me to go in.”

“Once on the field, the adrenaline is higher, and if I lost a game, I couldn’t sleep… it’s different being on the bench than being on the pitch.”

While his future at Barcelona is far from certain, Romeu still wanted to play for some more years at the highest level:

“I don’t know where I see myself. What I do know is that at 27, I thought I would retire at 32 or 33, but now I have found routines that have helped me a lot, and I hope to continue much longer.”

When he joined the Catalan club last summer, many people believed that the purpose of his incorporation was to replace Busquets. However, Romeu shared that he himself never thought of his move to Barcelona in such a light:

“I greatly value what Busquets has done, but I didn’t come with the intention of replacing him. I demanded more of myself than what others were saying.”

Before joining the Blaugranes, Romeu had been a very important player for Girona under Michel. In this interview, he shared how he took the decision to join Barcelona despite being a key player for Girona:

“When you make a decision, you do it with what you have on the table… I would probably make the same decision if it happened again.”

“Barça comes to you with an offer on the table and tells you that you will be very important… Later, you learn whether it turns out one way or another, and you do what you believe is best for you, but at that moment, that’s what there is.”

However, now in hindsight, the midfielder believed he had regressed from the level that he was at while at Girona: “In terms of the physical aspect, it’s not what I would have liked. Mentally, it’s the same. Because of mistakes or individual performances.”

Romeu also provided an insight into how it is to be a part of the Barcelona locker room: “From what I’ve seen and knowing players, it’s the aspect that is talked about the least. The important things are goals and winning. When you play well, that’s when you sleep better.”

Owing to the club’s financial problems and his lack of relevance in the team last season, it looks highly likely that Romeu has already played his last match for Barcelona.

A move back to Girona looks most likely to be the case for his future, but nothing is certain for now, and Flick might have different plans for him than Xavi.

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