Carles Perez was one of the active members of Barcelona’s squad between 2019 and 2020. He was seen as a long-term asset by the club and was given multiple opportunities by the management.
However, the cards did not play out in his favour. A combination of poor form and new signings saw him make his way out of Catalonia in 2020 to AS Roma before the Italians made his move permanent.
Subsequently, the player signed for Celta Vigo where he has finally found home. Last season, Perez scored three goals and provided five assists for the Galicians and established himself as a regular starter.
Speaking ahead of Celta Vigo’s clash against his former club, Perez spoke to SPORT about a plethora of topics including his tenure as a Barça player and the memories he had of the club.
He began, however, by addressing the elephant in the room – the weekend’s clash, and what he expected from Xavi Hernandez’s men.
“[We are] not afraid, we know who we are facing, they have a lot of quality, very good soccer players. It’s Barça, what am I going to say? You have to go with your head, know how to play the game, and take advantage of the opportunities.”
He was then asked about what he made of the current Catalan setup, to which he surprisingly revealed that he does not bear much interest in following his former club.
“If I’m honest with you, I don’t follow them much… of course, Joao Félix and Cancelo give the team another rhythm. And the results say a lot.”
Lamine Yamal is the talk of the town after his confident performances this season, both for club and country. Commenting on his fellow La Masia graduate’s success, Perez said,
“When I was there they didn’t give the opportunities that I thought they had to be given to the quarry and I see that that has changed and I’m glad. If Lamine is there, it’s because he has earned it.”
For long, Perez was touted as a long-term solution to Barcelona’s problems down the wing. His departure from the club, unsurprisingly came as a big blow to his dreams.
“I’m very well, it’s true that you’ve had a dream since you were little and you see that it gets frustrating from one day to the next. I only have good words towards Barça, I have to thank them, I learned a lot the years I was there, from the players, staff, from all over the world,” he said when asked if he felt hard done by Barça.
Perez then confidently stated that he saw no harm in celebrating in front of the Barcelona faithful if he scored in the upcoming clash.
“It’s not a bad thing, I left for years. Now I’m in Celta and if I score, obviously I’m not going to provoke anyone, but I will celebrate it. I don’t think it’s disrespectful.”
The young winger went on to give his two cents on whether he felt the door to return to Barcelona was closed, saying,
“I haven’t thought about it, nor have I thought about it on another team. I work to improve. I’m open to everything.”
Gradually climbing up the ladder at La Masia, Perez undoubtedly had many standout moments in the Blaugrana colours. He was asked to name the most pleasant memories at the club that he could recollect.
“I have three: the debut, the goal at Camp Nou in my first League match, and my Champions League debut that I scored in San Siro. And in grassroots football, the Youth League,” he said.
Finally, the former Barcelona star spoke about the best player and best manager he ran into during his tenure at the club.
“At Barça? Valverde, and of course, García Pimienta. And without a doubt, as a player, Messi, and Carles Aleñà, who was with me from the grassroots.”