André Gomes has been one of the pleasant surprises of the early stages of this new Barcelona season. His signing from Valencia in the summer was somewhat of a shock, since the young Portuguese international hadn't been even linked with the club, and many fans thought it was a bad idea to bring him, especially for a €35 million price tag.
But the 23-year-old has done very well in his first few months at the club, playing in a few different positions and looking composed and calm in all of them, even as a backup to Sergio Busquets. He doesn't seem to be struggling to adapt to the club and the system, and he discussed that and many more topics in a very good interview with Diario Sport. Check it out:
How's the adaption going in Barcelona (the city) and at Barça (the club)?
Everything's going well so far. I'm really happy with the change [from Valencia to Barcelona], on a personal level the city is beautiful and the adaption has been really quick, while on a professional level things are going well. I knew what I was going to find and the truth is that I'm really happy. Everyone has helped me a lot since the first day, I'm getting opportunities [to play] and enjoying training and games.
Has a lot changed considering you were a regular at Valencia and now you have to fight for every minute?
It's like a new era. You have to start from the beginning again, but that's how challenges are. I knew what I was coming into, that there are players in my position, but since the first day I have said that it wasn't a mistake coming here. I'm really happy with everything.
So it's like starting from zero?
Not quite, it's just a new era where you have to work hard so that people can see you and that's a little difficult, but Valencia was an important phase for me to grow. To come to Barça is a new era in the sense that now it's time to fight for everything again, as happened at Valencia, and I'm enjoying it a lot.
You've played as a pivote -- were you expecting that?
I didn't expect to play as a pivote but the team needed it and I have to do my job. It's a new position for me, but I'm enjoying all the games, whether as a pivote or in my position. Getting chances makes me happy.
What's it like to get here and see people like Messi? Or as a professional is it easy to take these things in?
I knew nearly all of the players, it was where I wanted to be [at Barcelona]. It doesn't matter what happens in the future, I'm clear on the fact I've not erred by coming here. Since the first day Leo, Andres, Busquets have helped me a lot with adapting to the club and I couldn't be happier.
What did they do to help you adapt?
On a daily basis they help me a lot with the tactical adaption, adapting to training sessions and it's really important how they help me get to know the rest of my teammates. For me it's all new, there were some players I didn't know, who I hadn't had contact with and little by little I've been introduced to them, speaking with them and getting to know them a little better.
What we see of Messi from outside is everything or do you see even more in training than matches?
What can I say about Leo! He's a player who everyone knows. He does extraordinary things. What he does in games he does so naturally in training, too. Little by little we get used to what he does, which is so good but for him it is natural. But you don't stop enjoying the training sessions with him when there's always something new. We enjoy him a lot.
A player comes to Barcelona normally to win the Champions League -- is that your target?
Of course it is, the club where I was [Valencia] is in my heart, but they suffer more than Barça to win titles. When there's a change it's to win more, it's what I hope for and I hope I can help in that sense to win La Liga, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey.... all the titles which we can win.
Barça said that the signing of Andre Gomes was an impulse buy at the last minute that they couldn't miss out on. What do you think when you hear that?
It's an honour, it's something which makes you happy to know that people want you and will make an effort to get you. I can only thank the people from Barça that did everything to sign me.
What's surprised you most about the club?
I came with an idea about what Barça are. There are players that are wizards. I had really positive expectations, but every day there is something new -- the attitude of a player you didn't expect, a player doing something in training which doesn't seem real... I came with an idea about what it would be like, how the team was, the players in the dressing room and I couldn't wish for any more.
Source: Diario Sport